Physician claims he lost work after Montana hospital monopolized cardiology services

Interventional cardiologist Kipp Webb and representatives from Montana’s Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital entered a 19-day jury trial Jan. 17 after Webb claimed the hospital created a monopoly over cardiology services in 2011, preventing him from practicing in the area.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported Webb, an employee of Cardiology Consultants of Bozeman from 2009 to 2011, is asking the jury to order Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital to pay him unspecified damages for not being able to treat heart attack victims at the hospital. Webb was given privileges to work in the hospital’s cath lab under a contract with Cardiology Consultants, but, according to his lawyer, he was pushed out of that job by other doctors in the Bozeman area.

Webb reportedly tried to contract with the hospital separately, but his lawyer said physicians at Bozeman Health didn’t want him there and “went after him,” claiming he was a threat to the hospital.

Webb claimed his attempts to open his own practice in Bozeman were hindered by an exclusive contract with Cardiology Consultants that prevented competition in the area, and that when he tried to find work across Montana and Idaho, Bozeman Health intentionally interfered.

In contrast, the hospital’s defense painted Webb as an unreliable doctor who’s bounced from hospital to hospital, and insisted his contract with Bozeman Health was just temporary.

“In the end, we believe it’s the simple fact that no one really wants to work with him,” the hospital’s lawyer said.

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