Arkansas judge halts economic credentialing at health system

A state court in Arkansas has issued an injunction stopping a state health system from enforcing a policy denying privileges to physicians who hold an ownership interest in competing hospitals.

The case arises from a dispute between Little Rock Cardiology Clinic physicians and Baptist Health, a five-hospital health system. The cardiology clinic had argued that the Baptist Health policy illegally acted to restrict the business of Little Rock-based Arkansas Heart Hospital.

The decision follows a September 2008 federal judge's decision in an antitrust case filed by Baptist against the Clinic. The federal judges said the patient-physician relationship was "entitled to exceptional protection," concluding that Baptist Health suffered no harm from the opening of Arkansas Heart.

To find out more about the story:
- read this Modern Healthcare piece (reg. req.)