Medical Staff Counseling & Peer Review
Medical staffs are indispensable to assuring the quality of care at their hospitals. As legal and accreditation standards expand, so do the medical staff’s responsibility and accountability for rigorous credentialing and for exacting, effective peer review.
Arent Fox boasts a uniquely deep roster of prominent, experienced and dynamic medical staff attorneys. Their capabilities enable us to guide our clients through the entire peer review process and to help them protect patients, while complying with all legal and accreditation standards.
We regularly provide day-to-day advice and counseling; represent medical staffs in peer review hearings and subsequent governing body appellate reviews; and provide training and education to medical staff leaders and professionals.
Credentialing, peer review, and quality improvement form the core of medical staff responsibilities. Our medical staff team has decades of experience in successfully advising medical staff leaders and professionals in these areas. This allows us to assist the medical staff in achieving the quality of care goals that are vitally important to physicians, hospitals, and patients. Our team is large enough to be extremely responsive and to handle matters of any size and complexity.
Our approach to peer review disciplinary matters is best described as aggressive, creative dispute prevention and resolution. We encourage our clients to involve us in a matter when they first consider corrective action, and ideally even before commencing a formal investigation.
To Us, Hearings Are Not Inevitable
We are committed to helping our clients resolve peer review disputes without the need for formal hearings whenever possible. Toward that end, we advise our clients to consider the least restrictive action that still fully and unquestionably achieves the crucial goal of patient protection. With this in mind, our clients are often able to work effectively with the member under review to improve the quality of care without facing unnecessary restrictions on the member’s practice, or dealing with the expense, disruption, and trauma involved in hearings or litigation. If hearings become inevitable, our Medical Staff-Related Litigation and Dispute Resolution team aggressively represents the medical staff in defending any action that the medical staff determines is necessary to protect patients. A full description of our Medical Staff Litigation and Dispute Resolution group is here.
Our Body of Work
We are proud that we have been counsel of record in a number of precedent-setting appellate court decisions important to medical staffs, and we also teamed with the California Hospital Association to write that organization’s Model Medical Staff Bylaws. The breadth of our expertise includes:
- Medical staff organization.
- Governance and leadership.
- Bylaws, rules, and policies.
- Peer review and credentialing.
- Investigations, formal hearings, and governing body appellate reviews.
- Practitioner well-being and behavior.
- Allied health professionals.
- Interactions among peer review bodies.
- Telemedicine and E-health.
- Whistleblower retaliation claims and litigation.
- Standards of The Joint Commission (TJC) on accreditation.
- Accountable care organizations.
- Physician and medical group employment and contracting.
- Physician practice in ambulatory care settings.