Complex Commercial Litigation
The healthcare industry has become exponentially more complex in recent years. Advances in technology and clinical care have been accompanied by additional legal issues surrounding liability and the proper standards of care owed to patients. Many hospitals and professional practice groups have struggled with how to adapt their internal practices–notably peer review–to address these constantly changing circumstances.
Unfortunately, there are times when these internal practices lead to litigation. Doctors are often the targets of improper sham peer review process. If this has happened to you, it is critical you work with an attorney experienced in complex commercial litigation who will fight for your rights in court.
The Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., is an antitrust litigation firm that focuses on the health care marketplace. Our team can review your situation and determine the best course of action. Whether you have been improperly sanctioned during a peer review or face a credentialing process that violates federal and state antitrust laws, we are prepared to handle your case from preliminary investigation to trial and appeal.
Peer Review vs. Group Boycott
Antitrust laws have traditionally focused on acts that restrain trade. For example, if every hospital in a given market agreed to fix minimum prices, that would be an illegal price-fixing arrangement. In particular, the Sherman Antitrust Act considers such joint activity a “per se” violation.
Along similar lines, when a group of professionals attempts to exclude a competitor from the market, that is an illegal boycott under the antitrust laws. While certain regulated professions, such as medicine, are given some leeway in adopting and enforcing professional standards intended to promote consumer (or patient) welfare, such internal regulation cannot be used as a pretext for engaging in an illegal group boycott.
This is why it is especially critical for any credentialing or peer review process to follow strict, written guidelines. If you are a healthcare provider subject to peer review, you have the right to know the applicable bylaws or procedures up-front. A peer review may not be subject to the same rigors as a civil trial, but you should still be afforded basic due process.
If your peer review deviates from this process–or the process itself is non-existent–your only alternative may be litigation. Remember, you are not only fighting to protect your reputation and professional livelihood; you also need to consider the patients who depend on you. When it comes to peer review it should only be about patient care, not the financial motives and conflicts of the practitioners overseeing the process.
Get Help Fighting Fraudulent Peer Review
Many healthcare providers are reluctant to engage in litigation. But sometimes there is no other choice. Sham peer review is not just harmful to the unfairly targeted physician, but the entire healthcare system. In fact, in recent years there has been an increasing problem with the misuse of peer review to punish “whistleblowers” who are actually trying to expose wrongdoing themselves.
You should never hesitate when it comes to asserting your legal rights. If you have been the target of a potentially illegal credentialing or peer review proceeding, the complex commercial litigation attorneys at the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., can help. Call us today at (312) 624-7642 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation.