Peer Review

News & Analysis as of

New Developments on Interplay between Whistleblower Actions and Other Attacks on Hospital Discipline

Hospitals and their medical staffs may consider it time to dust off their bylaws, in consideration of a recent legal development in a peer review proceeding. Last year, the California Supreme Court held that Mark T....more

“New Jersey’s Patient Safety Act and Statutory Peer Review Privilege”

The discoverability of documents created by medical institutions during the peer review process has long been the subject of conflict between parties in litigation. Often times the disputed documents contain information that...more

Peer Review Privilege: Facts vs. Conclusions

All states have some degree of confidentiality protection for peer review activities and the information generated by those activities, and there is additional federal protection for information gathered and created by...more

Bridging the Week - March 2015

Europe and US Receive Good Grades for PFMI Implementation; Japan Receives the Best Grade - Regulators in the European Union, Japan and the United States have made “good progress” in implementing the Principles of...more

Peer Review Concludes with Termination of Reviewer

You read that correctly: the hospital fired the physician who did the reviewing in a medical staff peer review proceeding. Hospital executives present at the proceeding felt the reviewing physician was too harsh in...more

Report by House Natural Resources Committee Highlights Shortcomings in Use of Peer Review Science by U.S. Fish and Wildlife...

On December 15, 2014, the House Natural Resources Committee majority staff published a report titled “Under the Microscope: An examination of the questionable science and lack of independent peer review in Endangered Species...more

Rip Van Winkle Fails in Effort to Enjoin Peer Review Process

Okay, it wasn’t really Rip Van Winkle. Rip slept for only twenty years. It was Dr. Legrand Belnap who sued a Salt Lake City hospital and its medical executive committee members. ...more

California Publishes Two Statutorily Mandated Studies on Fracking and Other Oil and Gas Stimulation Methods

On January 14, 2015, the State of California released two anticipated studies concerning hydraulic fracturing, also known as “fracking,” in California pursuant to Senate Bill 4 (SB 4) enacted in 2013. The California Natural...more

Pennsylvania Superior Court Rejects Peer Review Confidential for “Business Records”

In Kates v. Doylestown Hospital, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in a non-precedential decision, held back the Pennsylvania Peer Review Protection Act does not provide confidentiality protection for certain records....more

Oklahoma Legislature significantly expands peer review privilege

Oklahoma’s peer review statute provides that peer review information is private, confidential, and privileged. It encourages health care professionals to police themselves by evaluating their peers. It also promotes the...more

New Jersey Court Supports Peer Review Immunity for Hospital

On November 24, 2014, the New Jersey Appellate Division affirmed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a physician’s lawsuit against a hospital based on federal and state statutory immunity provisions that shield hospitals and...more

Recent Developments in PA and NJ Regarding Scope of Privilege for Health Care Facilities Engaged in Peer Reviews and Self-Critical...

Three recent cases offer guidance to health care entities in Pennsylvania and New Jersey regarding the discovery of documents created in connection with peer reviews, quality of care reviews and adverse event investigations...more

Federal Court Blasts Hospital’s Kitchen Sink Privilege Claim

Lawyers for Chicago’s Mercy Hospital found that out Monday when a federal court ruled on their claim of peer review privilege for hundreds of documents sought by the plaintiff in a malpractice case. The court blasted the...more

California Economic Development Leaders Urge Peer Review of New CEQA Guidelines

The California Economic Summit announced this week that its leaders, such as the president of the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corporation and the president of the Inland Empire Economic Partnership, have written...more

Peer Review is not always Privileged

Hospitals, ambulatory surgery centers and independent diagnostic centers cannot exist without physicians and other medical providers. In order to practice at those facilities, the medical professional often is required to be...more

Ohio Court Reiterates Peer Review Privilege Applies Only to Formal Peer Review Actions

A Hospital in Ohio tried to prevent access to a patient incident report on the basis of Peer Review Privilege. The Hospital claimed that, since the incident report was reviewed by the Hospital Peer Review Committee, the...more

OCC Announces Changes to the Supervisory Process for the Largest Banks

On May 28, the OCC announced that it will expand the organization, functions and responsibilities of its large bank lead expert program to improve horizontal perspective and analysis, systemic risk identification and resource...more

Hospital Accepts Physician’s Invitation To Defame Him

A Vermont doctor sued a hospital for defaming him. The court agreed he’d been defamed but threw the case out anyway. Why? Because the physician had “invited” the defamation. The hospital merely accepted the invitation....more

California Decision Allows Physician to Challenge Sham Peer Review as Whistleblower Retaliation

In Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals, the California Supreme Court found: A physician is not required to first exhaust his administrative remedies through the medical staff appeals process in order to...more

California Supreme Court Expands Protections To Whistle-Blowers And Weakens Hospital Peer Review Systems

The recent decision by the California Supreme Court in Fahlen v. Sutter Central Valley Hospitals, No. S205568 , 2014 WL 655995 (Cal. 2014) may significantly weaken the efficacy of hospital peer review proceedings in...more

The Fahlen Floodgates: Straight Talk about Two-Track Peer Review

The California Supreme Court unanimously ruled on February 20, 2014, that a physician claiming that her/his privileges were terminated in retaliation for whistleblowing to safeguard patient care and safety does not have to...more

Appeals Court Affirms Jury Verdict against Orthopedic Surgeons Society

An orthopedic surgeon who fought back and won a court case after the society of orthopedic surgeons slammed him for testifying that another surgeon had committed malpractice has now won an appeal of the legal case....more

European Union Negotiations Reach Agreement on New Clinical Trials Regulation

The European Union (“EU”) has cleared the way for adoption of a new clinical trials regulation within the EU. On December 20, 2013, the Committee of Permanent Representatives of the European Union endorsed proposed revisions...more

California Court Clarifies Controversial Questions About Medical Staff Peer Review Decisions and the Power of Hospital Boards

Two recent California Court of Appeal opinions decide issues of first impression in the medical staff peer review arena, helping to resolve questions that have long been uncertain and controversial. In the first of the two...more

NPDB Guidebook revision would clarify investigation reporting issues

Physicians always have been justifiably concerned about reports to the National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB) regarding malpractice payments and adverse peer review actions. Two areas of frequent uncertainty have...more

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