HCQIA: Physician Fails to Prove Hospital’s Refusal of Privileges Was Retaliatory

April 1, 2012 | Healthcare Risk, Quality, & Safety Guidance

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Maryland's highest court granted immunity from damages under the federal Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA), rejecting a physician's claim that the hospital refused to renew her privileges in retaliation for reports she submitted about substandard care at the facility. The high court upheld an appellate court's affirmation of a lower court's conclusion that the hospital satisfied the HCQIA's standard of objective reasonableness in conducting its review process and that the physician failed to demonstrate otherwise by a preponderance of the evidence.

The physician was the subject of 68 complaints made nearly equally by patients and medical staff. Although the high court agreed with the physician that the alleged retaliatory complaints made against her merited its consideration, the court found that the physician failed to show any connection between the adverse peer-review action and the retaliatory complaints. No evidence was shown that the board even considered those...

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