The Due Process Conundrum: Using Mathews v. Eldridge as a Standard for Private Hospitals Under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act
2 Belmont Law Review 1 (2015)
Posted: 20 Mar 2016 Last revised: 29 Apr 2017
Date Written: 2015
In response to growing litigation between doctors and hospitals and the recalcitrance of some hospitals to initiate proper peer review actions against incompetent or unprofessional doctors, Congress passed the Health Care Quality Immunity Act in 1986. HCQIA provided immunity for hospitals that engaged in peer review, presuming immunity from both federal and state law claims if the hospital had satisfied the statutory safeguards. One of these statutory requirements is “adequate notice and procedures” for the doctors at issue. It is abundantly clear in both the legislative history of HCQIA and the case law surrounding HCQIA immunity that section 11112(a)(3) was indicative of procedural due process protections for doctors. However, in analyzing immunity claims under HCQIA, courts have been reluctant to define or develop a rubric to evaluate whether the notice and hearing procedures provided for doctors are “adequate.” This could be alleviated by importing the rubric for appropriate procedural due process from the area of constitutional due process and Mathews v. Eldridge.
Keywords: due process, HCQIA, healthcare, hospitals, peer review, doctors, physicians
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