The Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986
The Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 is, ostensibly, meant to protect the public from incompetent physicians by allowing those physicians on peer review committees to communicate in an open and honest environment and thus weed out incompetent physicians, without the specter of a retaliatory lawsuit by the reviewed physician.
However, the consequences of the Act have instead helped promote an environment that protects those physicians on a peer review committee when they distort the review process for their own gain, by maliciously disciplining those physicians that may be in political or economic competition.
The Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 was enacted to reduce medical errors and protect the public.
The Congress finds the following:
- The increasing occurrence of medical malpractice and the need to improve the quality of medical care have become nationwide problems that warrant greater efforts than those that can be undertaken by any individual State.
- There is a national need to restrict the ability of incompetent physicians to move from State to State without disclosure or discovery of the physician’s previous damaging or incompetent performance.
- This nationwide problem can be remedied through effective professional peer review.
- The threat of private money damage liability under Federal laws, including treble damage liability under Federal antitrust law, unreasonably discourages physicians from participating in effective professional peer review.
- There is an overriding national need to provide incentive and protection for physicians engaging in effective professional peer review
Peer Review is also a very effective tool for getting rid someone you don’t like.
- bias against gender, ethnicity, life style, disability
- state politics
- hospital politics
- media hype- particularly if it involves drugs or sex
- personal jealousy
- power trips
- gossip – the rumor mill
- retaliate on whistle blowers
- upsetting the status quo
- billing complaints
- disgruntled employees
- not getting the disability rating that the patient requested… especially in Worker’s Compensation cases
- The present laws allow for summary suspension without due process.
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