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January 16, 2013

More on St. Peter hospital vs Mayo Clinic

A couple weeks ago, the small St. Peter Times published an interesting front page article about the CEO of the community-owned 17-bed River's Edge Hospital accusing Mayo Clinic of questionable practices and taking her case to the Minnesota Secretary of State for investigation.

Robb Murray of the Mankato Free Press recently did his own interview of the CEO Colleen Spike. An extensive story stemming from that interview ran in the Free-Press today. It lead with an 88-year-old woman saying the Mayo Clinic Health System staff told her River's Edge couldn't do an ultrasound on her.

Here are a few interesting excerpts that I clipped from Murray's article, some that probably warrant follow-up. The full Mankato Free Press article can be found here :

Spike says she told her friend the ultrasound could very well have been performed that day and that they do ultrasounds all the time.

“She said, ‘Colleen, did they lie to me?’” Spike said in an interview this week. “And the answer is yes.”

Size_550x415_River's Edge_logoThat story, and many more, prompted Spike to write a letter to Minnesota Attorney General Lori Swanson requesting an official investigation into Mayo Clinic Health System. She wants Swanson to look into allegations of MCHS staff falsely telling patients the St. Peter hospital was full, or telling patients that River’s Edge staff couldn’t do certain procedures such as ultrasounds, or weren’t certified to carry out certain tests such as mammograms and echocardiograms.


 Mayo Clinic Health System denies all allegations. They say they never made false claims about River’s Edge.


Spike said she understands that health care is a business. And she concedes that each example, on its own, can be chalked up to honest mistakes or sloppiness.

But after collecting example after example of similar “mistakes,” she says, she’s convinced they aren’t mistakes at all but are the manifestation of a concerted effort by Mayo Clinic Health System to crush the competition.

Spike, who has been in St. Peter for 15 years and in health care for 40, said the relationship between St. Peter’s hospital and Mayo had for years been a good one. She says it soured a few years ago when a Mayo executive told her flat out its plans.

“We had refused to become part of Mayo,” Spike said. “And he said ‘We will take you down.’”


“When I put my signature on that letter, my heart was pounding. We are a 17-bed hospital taking Mayo Clinic Health System to task,” she said. “I knew that organization when it was good. It does good things, it does wonderful things for health care. But that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t go astray. And it has gone astray.”


You have a paragraph that is duplicated, in your story.

Stay strong River's Edge - all it takes is a stone to take down Goliath.

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