The Arkansas Supreme Court upheld a 2009 decision stating that a hospital could not deny staff privileges to physicians with an ownership stake in competing hospital based on financial concerns because this policy violates state laws.
Baptist Health in Little Rock, Arkansas denied staff privileges to 12 physicians stating that its conflict of interest policy permitted the hospital to do so because of the economic interests of the facility.
Organizations such as the American Medical Association joined the physicians as plaintiffs, stating that restricting physician practice through economic credentialing restricts patient choice and that physicians should be evaluated on performance, not financial factors.
This is the highest court decision issued on the subject of economic credentialing. The AMA states that it is an issue that if challenged again, will be determined on a state-by-state basis.