Alta Vista Regional Hospital CEO resigns

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LAS VEGAS, N.M. — The state has sued Alta Vista Regional Hospital in Las Vegas for overcharging, aggressive billing and advertising services it allegedly knew it didn’t have the staff to provide.

In May, 4 Investigates uncovered the case of a nurse anesthetist at the hospital who had been mishandling fentanyl, using other drugs, and drinking on call.

This is part of what led the entire Medical Executive Committee at the hospital to resign. They felt the hospital was rolling the dice with patient safety.

Now, hospital CEO Caleb O’Rear has resigned. That’s important because several Las Vegas providers KOB 4 spoke to had stopped practicing there partly because of how O’Rear handled the nurse anesthetist complaints.

An Alta Vista spokeswoman said O’Rear left to “pursue other opportunities” and thanked him for his work.

There’s an internal acting CEO while the search for a replacement is underway.

The hospital not only serves the 2,700 people living in San Miguel County, but it serves the surrounding counties too.

It’s not hospital-specific, necessarily, but county commissioner Harold Garcia is heading up a group of a couple dozen providers, business leaders, and others who plan to study health care overall in the county and potentially develop a plan to improve service and outcomes.

The lawsuit the state attorney general filed against Alta Vista is set for trial early next year.