Chicago Physician Peer Review Attorneys
Peer review is something that every physician has had to deal with during their career. Peer review is important for identifying and addressing substandard care, unprofessional conduct, and other behaviors that threaten patient health and safety. But like any process, peer review may also be abused. Some hospitals and practice groups may misuse peer review to retaliate against a doctor whom they view as a competitive threat.
Such actions not only undermine the integrity of the peer review process; they can also violate the federal antitrust laws. At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., our Chicago physician peer review lawyers help doctors who have been unfairly and illegally targeted. We know that an adverse peer review can destroy a physician’s career. That is why we will fight to protect your professional reputation and standing from anticompetitive actors.
What Are the Signs of a Sham Peer Review Process?
Peer review is meant to ensure quality control in the health care industry. But the economic reality is that many doctors who work in the same hospital are also competitors. Given the potential for conflicts, it is critical to make sure the peer review process is legitimate and not simply a sham designed to mask anticompetitive behavior. If you are a physician under peer review, here are some questions you need to ask:
- Does my peer review committee include any physician that directly competes with me? If so, did that competitor lead or actively participate in the process or vote in favor of an adverse decision against me?
- Did the peer review committee actually follow the correct process? All peer review committees are subject to medical staff bylaws or similar governing documents. These bylaws, if designed correctly, must afford the respondent physician due process, including the right to advance notice of any hearing or meeting. In some cases, a peer review committee may recommend or impose a punishment that exceeds its authority under the bylaws, which might give rise to a potential antitrust claim.
- Did the peer review committee make up its mind before the actual process was complete? Not unlike a jury trial, doctors participating in peer review must afford an accused physician a fair hearing and weigh the evidence presented. If committee members have prejudged the case–or even discussed the case the case among themselves outside of the peer review process–that may suggest illegal collusion.
Get Advice From a Chicago Health Care Antitrust Attorney
These are just a few of the questions that we can help you to answer. If you have, in fact, been the victim of a sham peer review, it affects not only your career and reputation, but also the lives and well-being of the patients who rely upon you. At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., we know how to make the antitrust laws work for you in cases of sham peer review. It is against the law for competitors to illegally exclude you from the market. The fact those competitors are fellow doctors purporting to conduct a professional review is not an excuse.
If you are a physician in need of advice or assistance, call our Chicago offices today at (312) 624-7642 to schedule a free consultation. We want to hear your story and learn more about how we can best help you.