A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit charging that Baptist Health, Little Rock, Ark., violated state and federal laws by revoking two physicians' hospital privileges because of their indirect financial interest in a local heart hospital.
U.S. District Judge James Moody in Little Rock dismissed the lawsuit on the grounds that the court did not have jurisdiction to hear the case because it failed to "raise a substantial question of federal law."
The physicians' attorney, Clifford Block, subsequently refiled the case in Pulaski County Circuit Court in Little Rock, seeking a temporary restraining order or a preliminary injunction to prevent the loss of privileges.
The lawsuit was filed by six doctors who practice at Little Rock Cardiology Clinic, which owns 14.5% of Arkansas Heart Hospital. Court records show they are Bruce E. Murphy, M.D., Scott L. Beau, M.D., David C. Bauman, M.D., D. Andrew Henry, M.D., David M. Mego, M.D., and William A. Rollefson, M.D.
According to Moody's order, Baptist health notified Beau Feb. 2 that an economic conflict exists that would result in the automatic termination of his staff privileges at the end of his current appointment. Murphy was told, "his failure to sign an agreement to be bound by the hospital's economic credentialing policy and to disclose any ownership or investment in a completing hospital would cause his request for reappointment to be incomplete, resulting in automatic termination of his staff privileges" effective Thursday.
"What we're striving for is relief before that deadline," Block said.