Sunday, March 30, 2008

Economic Conflict-of-Interest Credentialling

Now here's a new twist to physician credentialling:
An “economic conflict-of-interest” policy imposed by Baptist Health has ignited debate that often comes down to this: Are some hospitals and doctors more concerned about their own success than what’s best for patients?

The policy, also called “economic credentialing,” denies doctors privileges at Baptist Health hospitals if they own a stake in a competing facility. The Baptist Health system, the largest in Arkansas, includes Baptist Health Medical Center in Little Rock, as well as facilities in North Little Rock, Arkadelphia, Heber Springs and elsewhere.
Boy, seems the hospital better be careful here. At least one other major medical center has a counter-suit pending by a doctor who exposed conflicts held by others in the hospital's organization. Gosh, and what about the issues of restriction of trade?

Conflicts abound on both sides. I'm not saying I have the answer in this case, but this is certainly new territory for physician credentialling...


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