What’s New in Health Law

Peer Review Privilege Upheld

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado upheld the Colorado peer review privilege, preventing a personal injury patient from discovering peer review records involving her care.  In doing so, the court rejected the patient’s argument that only the committee’s deliberations — and not the factual information included within its records — are protected by the privilege.

Blatchley v. Cunningham

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Question of the Week

We have an applicant who, technically, does not satisfy our threshold criteria.  But, we’re wondering if it’s really a big enough deal to justify keeping this physician off of our staff.  Specifically, this applicant had his license suspended six months ago, for 37 days, due to failure to comply with the tax code.  The physician disclosed the suspension on his application and included a narrative explanation, which basically stated that:

  • His wife failed to file the family’s tax returns for three years, without his knowledge. This resulted in him getting further behind in filing and caused tax penalties to add up.
  • He did not realize he had any tax delinquencies or that there was any problem with his license until his employer was notified that his license was suspended. He said mail delivery at his home has a history of being unreliable.
  • He resubmitted all ten years of tax returns that were requested by the taxing authority and was fully compliant with their investigation into the matter, once he knew there was a problem.
  • He paid the outstanding taxes and penalties due.
  • His license was reinstated after 37 days.

Our primary source verification of his license indicates the suspension and that it was due to failure to comply with the tax code.  Do we really need to make a “thing” out of this?  After all, how relevant is tax compliance to the practice of medicine?

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