Dr. Paletta’s Orthopedic Facility Getting ‘Unfair Advantage’ Says Post-Dispatch Editorial

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch published an editorial siding with area hospitals that oppose construction of an overnight-care facility in Chesterfield.

A recent editorial by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch calls into question the building of an overnight-stay orthopedic facility in Chesterfield.

The editorial, called, “A hospital by any other name is still a hospital,” says an orthopedic care center proposed by Dr. George Paletta, the St. Louis Cardinal’s physician, who seeks to expand his practice and add overnight stay, is not playing by Missouri rules that define what a hospital is or isn’t.

“Competition is a good thing for most businesses, but it should be fair competition,” the editorial says. “Dr. Paletta appears to be proposing a facility that is a hospital in everything but name.”

Last week, to expand his orthopedic business to a 10-doctor practice into two buildings in Chesterfield Valley at Highway 40 and Boones Crossing exit. He also plans to allow patients to stay overnight at his facility after surgery.

The proposal has been criticized by several area-hospitals organizations, including BJC HealthCare and SSM Health Care, which claim Dr. Paletta’s facility is in fact a hospital, which would require him to go through extra rules and regulations, such as providing emergency care for anyone who comes in, even if they are uninsured.

"It's fairly unfair," said Dave Dillon, spokesman for the Missouri Hospital Association, in the Post-Dispatch’s editorial. "At a facility like that, you're cherry-picking the folks you take care of."

In spite of Chesterfield’s City Council favorable vote, Dr. Paletta must still get approval by the state.

Paletta's current practice is next door to Delmar Gardens, 14825 North Outer Forty Road, in Chesterfield. Paletta previously said he needed the expansion because he was "bursting at the seams" and needed the additional space.

Share your opinions in our comments section below: Do you agree with the Post-Dispatch? Should Dr. Paletta not be allowed to build his overnight-care facility?

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