Contract: Hospital Had Right to Dismiss Emergency Physician without Due Process

June 1, 2011 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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​A U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed a summary judgment in favor of a defendant hospital that allegedly violated an emergency physician's due process rights and wrongfully interfered with business expectancy when it fired the physician because of patient complaints about his services.

In 2002, the hospital entered into a contract for emergency medical services with another physician, which included a provision that the hospital could remove "any physician at any time." The plaintiff contracted with the physician that was the exclusive provider of emergency services for the hospital in 2003; the contract for these services stated "either party may terminate this Agreement…with reasonable cause." Each contract had a term...

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