October 18, 2018

QUESTION:        Our hospital has adopted a mandatory flu vaccine policy for all employees and our MEC thinks it makes sense to also require vaccines for all private practice providers who are credentialed at the hospital.  What is the best way to do this?

ANSWER:            This question seems to be coming up often — another sad reminder that the summer season has transitioned to the flu season!  Many medical staff leaders see the value in addressing this issue consistently across all providers, regardless of whether they are employed or not.

The simplest solution would be to modify your eligibility criteria in your Medical Staff Bylaws or Credentials Policy so that every applicant and medical staff member would be required to provide evidence of an annual influenza vaccination.  Of course, any exemptions in your hospital’s policy for employees could also be recognized (i.e., allowing providers to wear a mask whenever they are in the hospital if, for example, a medical condition would prohibit them from obtaining a vaccination).

Have other medical staff questions?  Then join Barbara Blackmond and Ian Donaldson for The Complete Course for Medical Staff Leaders, where we will cover practical, real-world approaches to managing all types of Medical Staff leadership dilemmas, including how to modernize the eligibility criteria in your Medical Staff Bylaws.

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.