Ballad Health Says Independent Provider’s Claims Are False
An orthopedic group that has provided trauma care in local emergency rooms for over 70 years is one of the independent providers being removed from on call coverage at Johnson City Medical Center. The owners of Watauga Orthopedics announced the change that will take place February first following a decision by Ballad Health to only allow their physicians to serve patients at the region’s only Level I trauma unit. Watauga’s statement says Ballad’s move was another step in monopolizing the region’s health care and a blatant attempt to prevent their doctors from treating patients. Ballad Health released a statement saying, Watauga Orthopedics is entitled to disagree with the medical staff leadership and best practices for Level I Trauma Centers. However, Watauga Orthopedics’ broad statement about patient choice is simply false. Any patient may, at any time, choose to be seen by an orthopedist of their preference.