Originally posted at SSRN.


This Article addresses hospitals' use of economic criteria to determine a physician's qualifications for staff privileges. Hospitals are resorting to economic conflict-of-interest credentialing policies in an attempt to ensure physicians' loyalty and mantain their own economic viability. Physicians, however, argue that entrepenurial activities are necessary for them to meet the economic challenges posed by declining reimbursement and rising insurance costs. This Article surveys the numerous legal theories that litigants and enforcement authorities could employ in attacking these new types of credentialing policies. The Article concludes that, in most jurisdictions, hospitals should be able to implement their policies in ways that minimize liability. Finally, the Article discusses other policy implications of economic credentialing.