Peer review and hospital privileges, at least in the past, had a critical check and
balance—the hospital did need physicians to admit and care for patients, and
in many communities the number of physicians was limited, relative to the
number of hospitals. The federal antikickback laws, at least in theory,
prevented the hospitals from just bribing physicians to admit to the hospital.
Since the hospitals were competing for patients, the more physicians on staff
the greater the chance that a given patient would be admitted to the hospital.