Bylaws language for exclusivity contracts

Most hospitals have one or more exclusive contracts with members of the medical staff to ensure round-the-clock coverage for a particular service. Physicians who find themselves ineligible to hold certain privileges as a result of an exclusive arrangement may sue the hospital. Therefore, medical staff bylaws must address what hearing rights, if any, the hospital offers members who are affected by the initiation or ongoing existence of an exclusive contract.

Check your state laws before addressing this issue in your bylaws. Most state courts have supported hospitals that deny hearings in these circumstances because the exclusive contracts reflect the hospital’s business decisions and not determinations of physician competence. Regardless of how you choose to handle this situation in your institution, it is wise to spell it out in your medical staff bylaws.

Source: The Guide to Medical Staff Bylaws.