On May 19, 2005, the United States District Court in Louisiana decided the case of Kadlec Medical Center v. Lakeview Anesthesia Associates. The Court in Kadlec found found that hospitals have a duty to disclose material information about their medical staff members to other health care providers in order to protect future patients when a physician moves on. Kadlec requested from Lakeview Regional Medical Center “a candid evaluation of [the doctor's] training, continuing clinical performance, skill, and judgment, interpersonal skills and ability to perform….” Lakeview responded by stating that the doctor had served on the hospitals staff but that due to the large volume of inquires the hospital receives about its former physicians no further information would be provided.
Those involved in responding to credentialing requests for hospital should take a look at this decision and the impact it might have on your process for responding.
UPDATE: On May 26, 2006, a jury returned a verdict in favor of Kadlec Medical Center in the amount of $8.2M . The jury found that Lakeview Regional Medical Center along with the other physcians in the case made intentional and negligent misrepresentations to Kadlec Medical Center and that the misrepresentations were the proximate cause of the injuries. The jury verdict form from the trial can be reviewed courtesy of the Horty Springer website. Thanks to Rita Scwab over at MSSPNexus Blog for pointing me to the jury verdict info.
UPDATE: On May 8, 2008, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals issued a decision in
Following is a summary of the facts and issues presented in the appeal by a member of the FSB Health Care Practice Group.
Three months later, Dr.
Several months later, Dr.
The Court further held that neither LAA nor the hospital had an affirmative duty to disclose to Kadlec Dr. Berry’s addition to prescription drugs. The Court found that only where special circumstances exist, such as a when a fiduciary or confidential relationship exits between the parties, does a party have a duty to disclose such information. The Court stated that protecting an employee’s privacy outweighs imposing a broad duty to disclose information on employers. Therefore, LAA and the hospital did not have a duty to inform Kadlec about Dr.
Ultimately, the Fifth Circuit reversed the jury’s verdict against the hospital because the hospital did not make misrepresentations of fact to Kadlec. Further, the hospital was under no duty to disclose information regarding Dr.
According to the Fifth Circuit’s holding in Kadlec, physicians and hospitals are under no duty to respond to credentialing questions from another facility. However, if the physician or hospital decides to respond, it must seek to provide truthful information that will not mislead the credentialing facility.