Baptist Health in an Arkansas State of Denial

Joe Cantlupe, for HealthLeaders Media , October 7, 2010

His statement addressed only the employed physicians, not relatives.

Next step? U.S. Supreme Court? Will that be a waste of money?
Money, however, seems to be an extremely significant issue here. Baptist Health has said it was concerned that owners in specialty hospitals would "cherry pick" the most profitable patients.

The Arkansas high court acknowledged the economic issues, but said Baptist Health was wrong. "While society has a strong interest in Baptist's continued viability, the evidence showed that its finances were never at risk. These factors, and others, led to the judge's ultimate finding that Baptist had acted improperly," Associate Justice Ronald Sheffield wrote in the opinion.

When physicians have admitting privileges at multiple healthcare facilities, patients benefit, Cecil Wilson, MD, president of the AMA said in a statement.

"Free of Baptist's restrictive policy, physicians can now offer patients the benefit of choosing a facility that best suits their needs for cost, quality and convenience," he said.

Unfortunately, Baptist's unwise policy also came at a cost to physicians, and ultimately, to the hospital itself.

Joe Cantlupe is a senior editor with HealthLeaders Media Online.
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