Docs at Fam­ily ER sue ex-chief

Round Rock emer­gency clinic’s for­mer di­rec­tor ac­cused of mis­con­duct.

Austin American-Statesman - - METRO & STATE - By Claire Os­born cos­born@states­man.com

A for­mer med­i­cal di­rec­tor for an emer­gency care cen­ter in Round Rock is ac­cused of giv­ing her own medicine to a pa­tient, send­ing an email invit­ing her em­ploy­ees to watch pornog­ra­phy and caus­ing the fa­cil­ity to lose more than $200,000 in in­sur­ance pay­ments, ac­cord­ing to a law­suit.

The law­suit seeks up to $1 mil­lion in dam­ages against Dr. Rena Sa­lyer. It was filed in early March in the 425th Dis­trict Court in Wil­liamson County by the owner of Round Rock Emer­gency Cen­ter, Dr. Henry Hig­gins, and an­other doc­tor who works at the cen­ter, Nathaniel Green­wood.

Sa­lyer could not be reached for com­ment Monday. The law­suit does not say when Sa­lyer started work­ing as a med­i­cal di­rec­tor at the cen­ter, also known as Fam­ily Emer­gency Room at Round Rock, at 1925 S. A.W. Grimes Blvd.

Her Face­book page says she started-work­ing there in Septem­ber. Ac­cord­ing to the law­suit, Hig­gins ap­pointed Sa­lyer as med­i­cal di­rec­tor “be­cause of her ex­per­tise as a doc­tor and his un­qual­i­fied trust in her.”

“How­ever, things soon be­gan to fall apart,” the law­suit says.

It says Sa­lyer was late in com­plet­ing med­i­cal charts for some pa­tients — some­times by more than 30 days — which meant she missed the dead­line for fil­ing for pay­ments from in­sur­ance com­pa­nies.

As a re­sult, the law­suit says, the fa­cil­ity lost more than $200,000 in in­sur­ance pay­ments.

Af­ter Sa­lyer was told she was los­ing her ti­tle as med­i­cal di­rec­tor, she “tried to co­erce fe­male em­ploy­ees to fab­ri­cate a sex­ual ha­rass­ment story against Dr. Green­wood,” ac­cord­ing to the law­suit.

It says she also broke into the of­fice of the nurs­ing chief and looked at pri­vate em­ployee files as well as falsely told doc­tors and em­ploy­ees that the com­pany was bank­rupt and that em­ploy­ees prob­a­bly would not get a pay­check.

Sa­lyer also “en­cour­aged em­ploy­ees not to sign dis­ci­plinary forms, sent an email to em­ploy­ees invit­ing them to watch pornog­ra­phy, pro­vided her per­sonal, pre­scribed med­i­ca­tions to a pa­tient at the fa­cil­ity ... and ad­min­is­tered oral med­i­ca­tions to pa­tients in­stead of al­low­ing the nurse to do this and then failed to doc­u­ment that she had given the med­i­ca­tion,” the law­suit says.

Al­though com­plaints against a doc­tor to the Texas Med­i­cal Board are not pub­lic in­for­ma­tion, the board has never taken any dis­ci­plinary ac­tion against Sa­lyer, ac­cord- ing to its website.

The law­suit says Sa­lyer also made false state­ments that the emer­gency cen­ter was overus­ing drugs and that the De­part­ment of Jus­tice was about to be­gin in­ves­ti­gat­ing the busi­ness.

Round Rock Emer­gency Cen­ter had nu­mer­ous meet­ings with Sa­lyer and en­cour­aged her through mul­ti­ple emails “to change her con­duct,” the law­suit says.

It says Sa­lyer con­tin­ued to ne­glect her du­ties and was even­tu­ally fired from the fa­cil­ity. The law­suit does not say when she was fired.

At the re­quest of the plain­tiffs, a dis­trict judge ap­proved a tem­po­rary re­strain­ing or­der March 7 to pre­vent Sa­lyer from com­mu­ni­cat­ing with any em­ploy­ees at the emer­gency cen­ter or mak­ing any state­ment about the cen­ter on so­cial me­dia.

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