National Peer Review Attorney
Physicians provide critical health care services under enormously stressful circumstances. Mistakes are inevitable. Peer review and credentialing are important mechanisms in helping to address and correct mistakes, as well as ensure the overall quality of patient care.
But peer review is not without its faults. Some hospitals and physicians abuse the process to punish providers who also happen to be economic competitors. If you have been the victim of such a sham proceeding, it is important to speak with an experienced national peer review attorney who can advise you of your rights.
At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., we represent physicians whose careers and reputations are threatened by the inappropriate misuse of peer review and credentialing. We are experienced antitrust litigators who focus on the healthcare industry. We understand when a seemingly routine review crosses the line into illegal and anti-competitive behavior.
How Do I Know If My Peer Review Was Legitimate?
In antitrust terms, a sham peer review may be considered an illegal “group boycott.” In other words, a group of competitors may not conspire to exclude someone else from the marketplace in order to protect their own economic position. While federal and state antitrust laws do not prevent certain professions, including medicine, from maintaining ethical and quality standards, any credentialing process must be above-board.
Among other things, this means that a hospital or practice group should have written bylaws that explain how the peer review process will work. Although peer review is not a trial, the subject physician should nevertheless have certain basic due process rights. Most importantly for antitrust purposes, there should be procedures in place to ensure that a physician’s direct competitors do not directly participate or control the outcome of the peer review process.
Another sign of a sham process is when members of the peer review committee make statements that indicate they have prejudged the case before actually considering the medical and related evidence. Again, peer review is not a trial and committee members are not jurors. But if peer review is simply used to “rubber stamp” a predetermined outcome, that can raise serious concerns under federal and state antitrust laws, especially if there is evidence that committee members and hospital staff discussed the case outside of the formal proceedings. Such discussions may constitute an illegal form of “collusion.”
Taking a Stand Against Sham Peer Review
As a physician, you may be targeted for retaliation for any number of reasons. Perhaps you were a whistleblower who exposed misconduct by hospital management. Or maybe you have started your own physician-owned surgery center which the existing hospitals in the market view as a competitive threat. Whatever the pretext, there is never any justification for destroying a doctor’s professional livelihood through the misuse of peer review or credentialing.
If you need to take a stand against sham peer review, we can help. At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., our antitrust attorneys have decades of experience when it comes to taking on illegal credentialing processes that fail to respect the due process rights of doctors. Call us today at (312) 624-7642 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation so we can learn more about your situation.