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Surgeon: Halifax Deal Hurt Patients

A neurosurgeon at Halifax Health testified Wednesday that he had to wait for hours to do trauma surgery earlier this summer because the proper tools weren’t immediately available, and that’s because of the hospital’s decision to give all its spinal-implant business to a start-up company that lacked a full complement of instruments, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports. (Editor’s note: readers may encounter paywall.)

A competitor, Spinal Resources Inc., sued the public hospital, accusing it of steering its bid to a company linked to a hospital donor.

“It’s based on favoritism,” said Spinal Resources’ attorney Tim Elliott of Tallahassee, according to the News-Journal.

He said the company that received the bid, Cognitive Kinetics, has a personal tie to the France family, which gave the hospital $10 million to build a 10-story tower.

The News-Journal reported that it was able to obtain documents through a public-records request that show the hospital paid Cognitive Kinetics more than $450,000 for spinal implants. After questions were raised, the hospital scrapped the first bid and is having an independent consultant conduct a do-over.

Halifax Health says it is in the community’s interest to choose a single vendor because it can save $500,000 a year.

Originally founded in December 2006 as an independent grassroots publication dedicated to coverage of health issues in Florida, Health News Florida was acquired by WUSF Public Media in September 2012.