'It is just a gut punch': Expired contract disrupts neurosurgical care at California hospital; 23 APPs terminated

Practice Management

Neurosurgeons at Community Regional Medical Center in Fresno, Calif., are unable to take on new patients after a contract between Community Medical Centers and Central California Faculty Medical Group in Fresno expired Sept. 1, The San Joaquin Valley Sun reports.

The contract funded 28 physicians at the hospital, including 28 neurosurgeons who provided 24-hour neurosurgical trauma care.

On Sep. 1, 23 advanced practice providers were told that they would be let go in 60 days.

"[It] is just a gut punch," James Davis, MD, chief of trauma at the hospital, told The Sun. "This is just the last place I ever wanted to be."

Due to losing 24-hour neurosurgical trauma coverage, Community Regional Medical Center will be downgraded from a level 1 trauma center to a level 3 center.

Patients with head injuries — making up more than half of trauma patients — will no longer be able to receive care at the hospital. Instead, patients will be sent to hospitals in Sacramento and the Bay Area.

Neurosurgeons will continue to treat patients currently hospitalized, but are unable to take on new patients due to the expired contract.

Community Medical Centers and Central California Faculty Medical Group are working to negotiate a new contract.

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