Credentialing Developments: U.S. Supreme Court Refuses To Review Hearing Officer Authority Ruling; Ohio Court Of Appeals Allows Discovery Of Peer Review Records Under Prior Law

Hearing Officer Authority

In California, a Medical Staff Hearing Officer terminated a Medical Staff Hearing on the grounds the physician was “repeatedly disruptive, disdainful of the Hearing Officer’s authority, and flagrantly violated the rules pertaining to discovery and documentary exhibits.” This ruling allows the ruling by a California State Court that the termination did not violate the physician’s due process rights to stand. Meleikowsky v. Tenet Healthsystem, U.S. No. 05-638.

Ohio Court Confirms Scope of Peer Review Confidentiality

The Ohio Court of Appeals ruled both ways in a peer review discovery dispute. Although conceding that a 2003 annulment to the Ohio peer review confidentiality laws created an “impenetrable wall of secrecy,” it also ruled that the revised statute did not apply retroactively to the discovery requests directed to the University Hospitals Health System (UHHD). The Appellate Court approved the trial court’s decision to inspect the peer review documents “in camera,” but remanded the case to the trial court for a better description of which documents were discoverable. Tenan v. Huston, Ohio Ct. App. No. 2004-A-0061, Jan. 13, 2006.