How to Prepare for Medical Staff Disciplinary or Credentialing meetings or hearings?
Do you have a meeting coming up where you are being invited for an informal discussion or a formal hearing. This is a very serious matter, that can potentially have significant repercussions leading to being reported to the National Provider Data Bank (NPDB) and to Agency for Health Care Administration (AHCA) public record searches.
Here is what you should do in preparation for meeting with the medical staff executive committee:
1) Prepare Prepare Prepare - familiarize, read and reread the hospital bylaws, read the The Joint Commission (TJC) policies and procedures regarding medical staff credentialing and disciplinary actions; and read all of the hospitals letters they sent you keenly and see who they are coming from and try to figure out their angles and posturing the committee is doing or what they really want;
2) Due Process Rights - Chances are they will not give you sufficient facts to understand what is exactly going on. Then demand in writing that your due process rights be honored so you can adequately prepare and respond;
4) Demand Details and Specifics - ask in writing for instances that are case specifics so you are not disadvantaged by walking into the meeting where all others have had the opportunity to prepare and gather documents for months and you don't know what it is specifically about;
5) Find Out Who is Judging You - ask for who the observers and decision makers are, and ask who are the experts and every ones disclosures of conflict of interest with regard to this matter;
6) Standard of Care - ask for the specific standards of care they are concerned about because that is likely to be the violation you are going to get cited with; if needed ask for an extension of time to prepare for the meeting;
The hospital will probably not answer most of what you are asking for, so here is what you do:
7) Get your Position on the Record - go and hire your own court reporter to be present in the room so your objections go on a formal transcript record and you don't get cornered. Getting key statements into the court record is an art, that has to be practiced, it helps but it is simply not enough to just get the court reporter to record. Learn how to get things on the court record.
You are about to enter into a meeting that can have tremendous reputational and financial repercussions to you. Please please do not go at this alone, at least get a colleague involved or if you can retain legal counsel. Do not hesitate to call us.