Thursday, December 11, 2008

OSF's "Mission" Continues

Keith Steffen, OSF Administrator at the right, has said that OSF would bury Peoria Day Surgery Center. That doesn't sound like what a Christian hospital administrator should say, does it?

The medical mafia in Peoria continues.

The article below appeared in todays Peoria Journal Star.

Judge Throws Out Lawsuit Filed by OSF
Suit alleged Peoria Day Surgery Center violated federal racketeering laws
of the Journal Star
Posted Dec 10, 2008 @ 11:22 PM

PEORIA — A doctor-owned surgery center has won the latest round in a two-year-old legal tussle that has potentially millions of dollars at stake for both the doctors and the area's largest hospital.

In a nine-page order issued Wednesday, U.S. District Judge Michael Mihm threw out a lawsuit filed by OSF Saint Francis Medical Center, but he will allow the hospital to refile its allegations by Jan. 2. The judge found the hospital's complaint didn't include enough detail to allege violations of the federal racketeering laws and is, in effect, giving them another chance to plead their case.

Dr. Joseph Banno, one of the main doctors involved with Peoria Day Surgery Center, hailed the order as a victory.

"We have always known that these allegations are unfounded and are gratified with the court's ruling today," he said. "We viewed the case as yet another attempt by Saint Francis to drive competitors out of the market and deprive Peoria families of a choice in where they receive health care.

"We hope that St. Francis will now employ its tax-exempt status in more productive ventures," Banno added.

The suit, filed in April by St. Francis, alleges Peoria Day Surgery Center and Banno violated federal racketeering laws by submitting inflated bills in an effort to circumvent the fact that St. Francis was Caterpillar Inc.'s preferred provider.

Lee Smith, one of the hospital's lawyers, said he hadn't spoken to his client yet to decide their next move. He declined to comment further.

In 2006, the surgery center sued St. Francis, saying the hospital company was trying to drive the surgery center out of business so it can raise prices.

The center seeks to stop St. Francis from entering into agreements with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois and United Health Care for the hospital to be their exclusive provider of ambulatory surgical services in the area. If that were to happen, the suit contends, the center will be forced out of business.

That suit is still pending.

Andy Kravetz can be reached at 686-3283 or

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