Dean M. Harris


In order to understand the interface between vicarious antitrust liability and the decline of the independent contractor defense in the health care field, it is necessary to understand the complex relationship between the hospital and the physician, as well as the recent changes that have taken place in that relationship. Therefore, this article will briefly trace the changes that have occurred in the traditional rules of the hospital's relationship with its physicians. Then, the current relationship between hospital and staff physician will be examined in light of legal requirements, accreditation standards and practical considerations. After a brief introduction to the health care marketplace as a context for antitrust law, the new theories of liability will be applied to the health care field, in order to give examples of claims likely to be asserted by plaintiffs and defenses that can be raised by health care institutions.


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