Best Illinois Physician Peer Review Attorney
Health care is a unique industry. While doctors and health care providers are colleagues in a clinical sense, they are also economic competitors. Sometimes the tension between these roles spills over into the physician peer review process. What is supposed to be an impartial, professional review of medical practices quickly turns into a witch hunt designed to weed out doctors who may be viewed as a financial threat.
At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., we help healthcare professionals who have been the victims of sham peer review. Our Illinois physician peer review attorneys understand how an unfair or tainted process can destroy your reputation and career. We also know how poorly designed and implemented peer review may violate state and federal antitrust laws, which protect the competitive process from such manipulation.
What Are the Signs of Sham Peer Review?
There is a fine line between legitimate peer review and what antitrust laws deem an illegal “group boycott.” That line is often found in the written bylaws of the hospital or practice group conducting the peer review. Properly drafted bylaws should provide due process for the accused physician. While peer review is not the same thing as a civil or criminal trial, the process should also never be used as a “rubber stamp” for a predetermined outcome.
More importantly, peer review should not give a doctor’s competitors direct control over his fate. Whenever possible, a competing physician should not serve on a peer review committee. Nor should there be any “ex parte” communications between committee members outside of the formal process provided in the bylaws. Again, if there is such conspiring, that may prove to be evidence of a serious antitrust violation.
If you are the subject of a peer review, you should not hesitate to speak out if you think your rights are under attack. One common problem we see with sham peer reviews is when a committee tries to exceed its authority–i.e., recommending a sanction or penalty not provided for in the bylaws. An abusive peer review committee may try to blackmail a doctor by threatening to revoke his privileges even when that is not an available remedy.
How a Physician Peer Review Attorney Can Help
Ideally, peer review is supposed to be a collaborative process where physicians work together to improve the quality of medical care for patients. For this reason, many providers are reluctant to confront abusive peer review practices. They may even hesitate to hire an attorney for fear it may be viewed as a hostile act.
But the reality is that you have every right to look out for yourself–and your patients–when it comes to peer review. Hiring a qualified physician peer review attorney shows you take the process seriously and want to ensure everything is performed above-board–and if it is not, you are prepared to take appropriate legal action.
The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., assists healthcare providers throughout Illinois who have been the targets of biased and improper peer review. Call us today at (312) 624-7642 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation to discuss your situation and how we can help.