A clash over a joint venture by Medford hospitals to provide medical imaging heated up Thursday as Asante Health Systems, the parent company of Rogue Valley Medical Center, countersued its partners in Oregon Advanced Imaging LLC.

A clash over a joint venture by Medford hospitals to provide medical imaging heated up Thursday as Asante Health Systems, the parent company of Rogue Valley Medical Center, countersued its partners in Oregon Advanced Imaging LLC.

Last week Providence Medford Medical Center sued Rogue Valley Medical Center for breach of contract, claiming RVMC abruptly terminated its participation in Oregon Advanced Imaging after initially agreeing to extend the effort five years.

Now Asante has countered that Providence and Medford Radiological Group, another partner in the venture, violated the contract with their plans to have MRI equipment at a new medical office building in Central Point.

The two hospitals teamed up in 1987 to provide high-tech medical imaging service such as MRIs and CT scans. They formed Oregon Advanced Imaging in 2002 along with the radiologists of Medford Radiological Group.

The original agreement is set to end July 28. During negotiations to extend it, Asante tentatively agreed, then informed both partners on July 3 that it didn't want to continue participation, the partners said.

Providence sought an injunction so the court would take control of the dissolution of the imaging operation while fair value can be set for its assets and appropriate provisions can be made to preserve services for patients.

— Anita Burke