February 18, 2016

QUESTION:        A registrant at our recent Complete Course for Medical Staff Leaders in Naples asked: Can you change the bylaws AFTER someone’s already credentialed, even if it might make that physician ineligible at recredentialing (e.g., thresholds)? If ineligible, is that reportable to the NPDB?

ANSWER:          Yes and No. An organization can decide to revise its eligibility criteria; it may choose to “grandfather” current staff members (upheld by several courts in cases involving board certification, when potential applicants alleged disparate treatment). However, grandfathering is not required. An organization can decide to apply the new criteria uniformly.  It is fair to provide advance notice and an opportunity for those affected to be heard (and to become eligible, if possible).

Leaders should carefully assess the need to apply the standard to current members and to articulate the quality rationale. A determination of ineligibility is not an adverse professional review action and is not reportable to the National Practitioner Data Bank.