Peer Review Lawyer
All physicians strive to maintain the highest professional standards. That is why peer review and credentialing are critical tools in addressing health care decisions that have a negative effect on patient care. At the same time, peer review should never serve as a pretext for a hospital or practice group to punish those providers who may are also economic competitors in the marketplace. Such conduct is not only unprofessional, it may run afoul of federal antitrust laws like the Sherman Act.
At the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C., we help physicians whose practices and professional reputations have been harmed by unfair credentialing and peer review. Our experienced team of peer review attorneys can help you fight an adverse action that threatens to destroy your career. We understand that the peer review process can be a sham, and we will fight to protect your reputation–and your patients–from illegal anti-competitive behavior.
Excessive Penalties, Conflicts of Interest Often Lead to Peer Review Problems
A key goal of antitrust law is to prevent “group boycotts,” i.e. efforts by competitors to exclude a provider from the marketplace through illicit conduct. This can get tricky when it comes to regulated professions like medicine, since a certain degree of coordination among professionals is necessary to maintain standards and comply with government regulations. At the same time, such coordination must protect the due process rights of participants to ensure that peer review or credentialing does not become a pretext for exclusionary behavior.
A well-designed peer review process will have written bylaws that not only affords the accused physician the right to a fair hearing, but also carefully limits the maximum scope of any potential disciplinary action. One sure sign of a potential antitrust violation is when a peer review committee issues or recommends sanctions that exceeds its written authority. An excessive punishment may constitute an illegal group boycott. Similarly, if the peer review committee itself includes providers who directly compete with the accused physician for business, that could raise antitrust concerns.
Have You Been the Victim of Sham Peer Review? We Can Help
It may not get as much media attention as other issues facing the health care industry, but sham peer review is a growing problem. In many cases, physicians are targeted for being “whistleblowers” who actually want to expose potential threats to patient health and safety. This undermines the entire reason for peer review in the first place. Yet in an increasingly competitive market–one where physicians are fighting over dwindling reimbursements from insurers–such unethical actions are often rationalized as necessary to protect the common good.
Of course, that is nonsense. Using sham peer review to silence physicians whose only “crime” is seeking to improve patient care violates everything the medical profession is supposed to stand for. This is why if you have been targeted by an unfair or illegal credentialing process, you need to take action. Your first step is to speak with the peer review attorneys at the Law Offices of George M. Sanders, P.C. Call us today at (312) 624-7642 to schedule a free consultation.