January 26, 2017

QUESTION:        An applicant for reappointment has requested privileges that he has not performed for many years (and he doesn’t perform them anywhere).  Can we deny the request?

ANSWER:           The D word is not the best answer; why not approach it by developing eligibility criteria for core and special privileges?  A determination of ineligibility is not an adverse professional review action, and so is not reportable.  CMS requires that hospitals consider evidence of current competence in granting and renewing privileges.  What is “current”?  For many procedures and practice areas, there is a recognized correlation between proficiency and performance.  A two-year reappointment cycle is a logical period, except perhaps for procedures that are very rarely done (but it may be vital to maintain privileges for those unusual occasions where a patient can’t be transferred in time to help).

Join us for our Grand Rounds audio conference on Feb. 7 when we address how you can design policies to help handle a number of privileging dilemmas.