Wednesday, August 20, 2008

U.S Circuit Court Overturns Kadlec Decision

On May 8, 2008, the 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals overturned the 2006 Eastern Louisiana District Court decision made in the landmark credentialing case, Kadlec Medical Center v. Lakeview Anesthesia Associates. The original ruling stated that Lakeview Medical Center (LMC) and Lakeview Anesthesia Associates (LAA) had an affirmative duty to disclose past drug use by former employee, Dr. Robert Berry, to prospective employer, Kadlec Medical Center.

The new decision states that in providing a neutral employment verification letter to Kadlec on behalf of Berry, LMC could not be held liable for the incident even though they did not disclose Berry’s past drug use. In its opinion, the court stated that there is no law in Louisiana or any other state that requires a hospital to disclose negative information about a current or prior employee.

For a full analysis of the decision, click here:

NAMSS Closes in on MS.1.20 Changes

The Joint Commission’s (TJC) MS.1.20 Task Force held an in-person meeting on May 7 and a phone conference on May 15 to work towards a final revision of Standard MS.1.20.

Over the next two weeks, Task Force members will finalize recommendations to the Board of Commissioners for their May 31 meeting. Changes proposed by the Task Force include:

The flexibility to place operational details such as credentialing either in the medical staff bylaws or in rules or policy and procedures documents
A conflict resolution process requiring the medical staff to work with the medical executive committee to resolve disagreements before going directly to the governing body. When approaching the governing body, both the opinions of the medical staff and medical executive committee must be submitted for review

NAMSS will release the latest revision of MS.1.20 once it is approved by the Board of Commissioners for field review and will alert the membership once a field review date is announced.

Click here for more on TJCs latest announcement:

Anesthesiologist’s Drug Dependency not Protected under ADA

An anesthesiologist who was terminated by a practice group in Oregon failed to show that a chemical dependency problem rendered him disabled under the Americans with Disabilities Act or that his termination was improper, a federal trial court ruled June 6 (Tyson v. Oregon Anesthesiology Group PC, D. Ore., No. 03-1192, 6/6/08).

The U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon ruled that Dr. Geoffrey Tyson failed to demonstrate that he qualified, because of his drug dependency problem, as disabled under the ADA or that the practice group that terminated him, Oregon Anesthesiology Group PC (OAG), regarded him as disabled.

In reaching these conclusions, the court found there was insufficient evidence that his chemical dependency, which allegedly led him to divert patient medications and compromised patient care, constituted a condition that limited his ability to work or carry out another major life activity. He also could not show that he was otherwise qualified for the anesthesiology position he held or the other positions he sought while his privileges at an Oregon hospital were suspended.

2009 TJC Standards Available Online

The latest accreditation standards, effective January 1, 2009, are now available online. No major changes or additions were made, other than the reorganization of standards to allow for easier edits in the future.

Proposed 2009 Hospital Payment Rates Published

The Department of Health and Human Services has published the proposed changes to CY 2009 payment rates for hospital outpatient services and ambulatory surgical centers in the Federal Register.

View the proposed changes.