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Harrison to leave family practice

Modified: Friday, Sep 5th, 2008

Doctor Steven W. Harrison will close his family medical practice.

The family practice clinic of Doctor Steven Harrison will close soon, due to business failure, Harrison announced recently.

Harrison, a longtime doctor in the town, said he will close his medical office and is currently considering all offers, including emergency work, clinic work and full time teaching.

"I'm honored by the amount of interest in what I do," Harrison said, adding that he's received a lot of sympathy from patients who have found out the news.

"I've gotten to do the best job imagined," Harrison reflected, "I would continue if I could." He went on to explain the closure is for business reasons, stemming from no one reason in particular, but a collection of bad decisions that hurt the overall business.

In attempt as a businessman to help his community, Harrison said he moved to his new expanded office at the end of Broadway a few years back, but that larger office was more costly, and without extra doctors to assist him, he couldn't maintain the expenses.

Gathering and then losing extra medical assistance was something Harrison credits as an additional strain on the business. He explained that many of the doctors he brought in to help his business either left or were recruited away, costing the business each time.

Other decisions with good intent, but damaging results, included the purchase of $100,000 of medical records software that could not be implemented in a functional way, and last year's acquisition of 2,500 flu shots when only 1,500 were administered.

"The business could not withstand the expansion. There is not a smoking gun," Harrison said, reiterating that the failure of the business is due to his decisions, including the decision to expand the business to its detriment.

Harrison said he should have a decision soon on what he'll be doing after closing his office, but in the meantime will work as a family practice doctor to make for an easy transition. He explained that he let his staff know roughly three months ago, and many of them have already made arrangements for the changes.

King City will remain as Harrison's home, as he explained he had no plans of moving. All his children have graduated high school, with two in college this fall, and three to be in college next spring.

Harrison said that everyone's medical information is available to them, and with their signing of a release, he can send that information to his patients' new physicians. He explained that he will keep all medical records for at least a year, and to the full extent of the law.

"There's a lot of potential and real insolvency in medicine," Harrison noted, adding that five physicians will soon leave their practices in the Monterey Bay area alone. The problem stems from a nationwide crisis of mixing the need for medical care with the practice of private business, he explained.

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