Recommendations for the Subject of a Peer Review Hearing
Thursday, January 30, 2020
By George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law
This blog is focused on clinical privileges and aims to provide recommendations on the peer review process.
Due Process Rights.
You must ensure that your medical staff bylaws contain true "due process" rights for accused physicians. You should attempt to have state legislation passed that requires all hospitals to afford physicians certain due process rights in peer review proceeding similar to what California has done.
The Medical Staff should never allow hospital administration (or the hospital parent corporation) to force them to adopt medical staff bylaws changes which eliminate or limit the hearing rights or due process rights of a physician who may be the subject of an adverse decision.
The peer review committee (fair hearing committee) should have its own independent legal advisor in all hearings. This must be someone other than from the law firm which represents the hospital.
You must treat the peer review process like you would a civil trial against you for medical malpractice.
If you are the subject of a peer review proceeding, immediately retain experienced, knowledgeable health care counsel to represent you. Also, immediately retain a litigation attorney who has experience in this type of civil litigation; file suit immediately if the matter is not proceeding fairly and in accordance with medical staff bylaws and state laws.
If your hearing procedures/peer review procedures are not in your medical staff bylaws, make sure that both the medical staff bylaws and the hearing procedures state that the hearing procedures have the same force and effect as the medical staff bylaws.
Peer Review Must Be Treated Seriously.
Regardless of the source, or how petty or merit-less it may seem, the health professional who is the subject of the peer review must treat it seriously. The actions you take may resolve the matter at a preliminary stage or it may cause an escalation to a hearing, adverse action, and a National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) Report, with career-ending results.
To learn 20 more tips on surviving the peer review process, click here to read my prior blog.
The Best Results in a Peer Review Matter.
If you follow these tips, you have the best chance of coming out of the peer review without problems. However, in a really serious case, where many records are being reviewed and the allegations appear to be very serious, then it is most important to retain an experienced health care attorney at the earliest opportunity and take that attorney’s advice. You will be in for the fight of your professional life.
Don’t Wait Until It’s Too Late, Contact a Health Law Attorney Experienced in the Process of Peer Reviews.
If you are the subject of a peer review proceeding, immediately retain experienced, knowledgeable health care counsel to represent you. The attorneys of The Health Law Firm have experience in most, if not all, types of "fair hearings" involving health care issues and health care providers.
At the Health Law Firm we provide legal services for physicians and other health care providers. This includes nurse practitioners, nurses, dentists, psychologists, psychiatrists, mental health counselors, medical students and interns, hospitals, ambulatory surgical centers, pain management clinics, nursing homes, and any other health care provider. We represent facilities, individuals, groups and institutions in contracts, sales, mergers and acquisitions. We also represent physicians and health care providers in complex litigation in both state and federal courts.
To contact The Health Law Firm, please call (407) 331-6620 or (850) 439-1001 and visit our website at www.TheHealthLawFirm.com.
About the Author: George F. Indest III, J.D., M.P.A., LL.M., is Board Certified by The Florida Bar in Health Law. He is the President and Managing Partner of The Health Law Firm, which has a national practice. Its main office is in the Orlando, Florida area. www.TheHealthLawFirm.com The Health Law Firm, 1101 Douglas Ave., Altamonte Springs, FL 32714, Phone: (407) 331-6620.
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