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P3 Health to close Calvada clinics amid lawsuit from former local operators

Updated February 28, 2023 - 10:27 am

Just nine months after P3 Health Partners Inc. acquired two Calvada Boulevard clinics in a $13.8 million deal from local operators, the Las Vegas-based care provider announced it will close the Pahrump sites on March 17, and discontinue its cardiology, family medicine and urgent care services there.

“We realized soon after purchasing the practice that there were some irregularities and inconsistencies in the operations and systems that did not meet our standards or values,” P3 Health Partners CEO Dr. Sherif Abdou told the Pahrump Valley Times on Friday, after roughly 7,000 former and current patients began receiving letters about the closings. “We are committed to the highest quality of health care for our patients and do not feel that we can offer our patients the care they deserve at that location.”

P3 will retain partnerships with two primary care groups in Pahrump: Goodheart Medical Group and Spring Mountain Medical Center.

Dr. Ed Harding also will absorb some of the Calvada patients at his family medicine clinic near Desert View Hospital, a spokesperson for the group told the Pahrump Valley Times last week.

“We made a difficult decision to close the practice and focus our attention on expanding our primary care services at our Lola [Lane] location – where Dr. Harding practices,” Abdou said. “We are committed to helping those patients needing care to find a new provider that can meet their needs and encourage folks to call us for support.”

The news of the closings comes about two months after the former operators of Pahrump Cardiology & Family Practice filed a lawsuit against P3 Health, claiming it had failed to meet several terms of its purchasing agreement.

P3 acknowledged the claims made by Dr. Tali Arik and Julie Woodward in their 23-page suit filed Jan. 3, in a Nye County court, but Abdou said the company could not comment on pending litigation.

“What we can say is that it’s disappointing and unfortunate that this lawsuit was filed,” he said. “We would have preferred to work through the issues with the doctors directly.”

Abdou did not say if the lawsuit influenced P3’s decision to shuttter its Calvada clinics.

P3’s lawyers have filed a motion to dismiss the complaint, Abdou said, and a court is expected to issue a ruling in the case on March 28.

Lawsuit: P3 gutted operations in Pahrump

Under terms of the multi-million dollar buyout between P3 and Pahrump Cardiogy, P3 reportedly paid more than $5 million upfront to acquire the Calvada clinics. Dr. Arik was supposed to continue treating patients there, the lawsuit claims.

Woodward was to supervise the clinics and serve as an adminstrator under the deal, while receiving up to $8.8 million in “earnouts”over the next several years as the practice grew, according to the lawsuit.

But soon after P3 took over operations, Dr. Arik, who had previously served patients in Pahrump for more than 15 years before opening his own clinic here in 2019, claims he was “no longer scheduled to examine and treat his patients,” according to the lawsuit.

Instead, the lawsuit claims his duties were contracted out to Heart Center of Nevada, which operates a number of care centers in the Las Vegas Valley.

“This transition not only deprived Arik of his life’s work, but it also made it impossible for Arik to convert his base of patients from Medicare to Humana, which was an integral component of his ability to realize the earnouts,” according to the lawsuit.

Following the P3 takeover, Woodward was “essentially relieved of all of her administrative functions, duties and was stripped of all authority,” the lawsuit claims.

P3 also quickly eliminated diganostic testing at its Calvada clinics, including the Cardiac PET scans, which accounted for about 40 percent of the clinic’s annual revenue, according to the lawsuit. P3 cut half of the clinic’s primary staff after its takeover, the lawsuit claims, and ended pain-management services, pulmonary function testing and allergy testing there.

Dr. Arik, 67, is alleging age discrimination and claims in the lawsuit that P3’s plans were “designed with the intention of permanently depriving [him] of his money, assets and/or property.”

Contact Editor Brent Schanding at bschanding@pvtines.com

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