“Peer Review” Actions

Here is an article from Time about hospitals and doctors going after doctors in the name of “peer review.”

I recently defended a physician charged by a hospital with poor patient care. I must say that after reviewing the charts I was surprised at the charges – not a single case would have been won by a plaintiff in a medical negligence action. The central allegation involved the treatment of a patient for a serious medical condition of which I had some knowledge because of a past malpractice case where I represented the plaintiff. I knew the proper course of treatment, I knew the survivability rate with proper treatment, and I would have turned the case down on the records without even consulting an expert.

The system is really stacked in favor of the hospital in such cases. As a lawyer, I was shocked at the lack of due process in the system.

Of course, it is important that hospitals and doctors police their own. But the system should have adequate mechanisms to ensure that the person charged with wrongdoing has the ability to adequately defend the claims and present evidence before an unbiased decision maker. Current law does not require these safeguards. The current system is relatively efficient, but does not include mechanisms to protect the unfairly charged.