Regarding the Reader Poll in the June 23 Modern Physician e-newsletter about restricting physician privileges due to ownership in competing hospitals, ASCs or other healthcare facilities:
If a hospital restricts a physicians right to practice because they have an ownership/equity position in another medical enterprise, I would surmise that the hospital is opening itself up for legal action for restriction of trade. Additionally, privileges are granted under the existing medical staff by-laws that center around practice standards and training. I have never seen any by-laws that restrict outside investments as a criterion for granting privileges.
Many specialty hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers, offering some physician ownership, do prohibit physician-owners from investing in any new competing enterprise within a certain mile limit, or for a specific time period if they leave the original partnership.
Olin F. McCormick Sr.Vice president of developmentRockwall HospitalsRichardson, Texas