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Medicine and Public Policy |

Antitrust Law Implications of Exclusive Contracts, Closed Staffs, and Denials of Hospital Privileges

L. BARRY COSTILO, L.L.B.
[+] Article and Author Information

The opinions expressed are those of the author, who is a senior trial attorney with the Federal Trade Commission, and are not necessarily those of the Federal Trade Commission or of any individual commissioner.

This article is adapted from a speech given to the American Bar Association Forum Committee on Health Law.

▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to L. Barry Costilo, Esq.; Suite 820, 425 13th Street, N.W.; Washington, DC 20004.


Washington, D.C.


Ann Intern Med. 1982;97(4):599-601. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-97-4-599
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Reports of an impending surplus of physicians have intensified economic incentives to exclude competing professionals from the hospital workplace. These conditions have led to a substantial increase in the number of private lawsuits instituted by the excluded physicians. Denials of hospital privileges can be essential to the maintenance of high standards of quality and efficiency at a hospital. However, unreasonable denials of staff privileges, staff closures, and exclusive contracts can raise antitrust implications depending on the facts. The relevant factual and economic questions that should be asked about such conduct in order to determine the degree of antitrust risk are discussed.

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