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Gerguises sue HMA
Physicians say hospital owner denies access to patient records
Two Statesboro doctors are suing a company they claim endangered patients’ health by refusing electronic access to medical records.Drs. John and Angela Gerguis, with South Georgia Family Medicine Associates PC, filed a civil suit Oct. 22 in Bulloch County Superior Court against Statesboro HMA Medical Group LLC, claiming the company’s refusal to make patients’ records available electronically has caused patients to be at risk because of delays and cancellations of testing, surgeries and other medical procedures, according to the suit.Health Management Associates Inc., based in Naples, Fla., owns and operates East Georgia Regional Medical Center and 70 other hospitals in 15 states.The Gerguises’ practice has been in a dispute with HMA since August, when the two parted ways. The Gerguises said HMA terminated their staff’s employment, while HMA said the Gerguises “submitted their resignations from Statesboro HMA Medical Group LLC.” The Gerguises’ office was closed as part of that separation, but they opened a new location about a week later in the Optim Orthopedics office at 16915 Georgia Highway 67, Suite A, just across the parking lot from the old location.In an affidavit signed under oath, Angela Gerguis states, “Over the course of the past two months, we have experienced difficulties due to HMA’s refusal to provide access to the electronic medical records system and/or complete copies of our patient’s records.”She cited situations with patients where tests were canceled, procedures canceled, surgeries delayed, testing postponed, and approvals for medical procedures denied or delayed due to inability to access patient records.Many patients are at risk because of delays, and for some, the need is urgent, she said in the suit, listing several cases where people with serious ailments have been denied complete and timely treatments because of the inaccessibility of medical records through electronic means.Refill requests, care plan oversights, referral requests, medical equipment orders received daily are interrupted by lack of access to records, she said.
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