In Nasim v. Los Robles Regional Medical Center (2008 Cal. App. LEXIS 1251), a California Appellate State Court held that adoption of credentialing criteria which would retroactively deny a physician certain clinical privileges was illegal under California law.
Los Robles Regional Medical Center adopted standards requiring board certification, and those standards required that subspecialty board certification be obtained within two consecutive board exams after initial board certification. Those criteria made it impossible for Dr. Nasim to obtain subspecialty board certification within the time limit specified by the credentialing criteria. The hospital claimed that it had appropriate authority to adopt medical staff standards; the court agreed that the hospital had the right to adopt standards, but disagreed with their application to Dr. Nasim, stating as follows:
"The hospital claims that there is no showing that Nasim was treated unfairly or arbitrarily by its application of Rule IV. But the Rule is not applied uniformly. Staff doctors were exempt from the board certification requirements. . . The trial court could find that the distinction the hospital made between the provisional and active staff might be appropriate if the rule had been applied prospectively. But it became artificial when applied retroactively to Nasim in 2003 and thereafter."
A copy of the opinion is available at the link below.