Sandra DiFranco


Health care costs are continuing to rise. This forces hospitals to consider the cost and efficiency of each physician when making privileging decisions. However, hospitals cannot deny a competitor physician staff privileges strictly based on economic factors. If this is the only consideration that the hospital utilizes, a denial or restriction of privileges based solely on competitive considerations may expose the hospital to liability under federal antitrust as well as state tort claims. This Note will focus primarily on Ohio laws and statutes. A comparison with other jurisdictions also will be analyzed. This Note will illustrate the complexities and ambiguities that exist regarding how a physician and hospital are associated with each other. This Note attempts to accomplish the following: (1) discuss what medical staff credentialing entails, (2) discuss what constitutes economic credentialing, (3) analyze the current law regarding medical staff credentialing, (4) analyze the current law regarding economic credentialing, and (5) propose a solution to the current system regarding the vague "relationship" that exists between a physician and a hospital. This solution would encourage hospitals to manage their affairs similar to a business operation. There would be an employer/employee relationship between a hospital and all physicians with medical staff privileges. This Note will explain why a hospital should be able to deny a competitor physician medical staff privileges.