In Hussein vs. Duncan Regional Hospital, United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma denied immunity under the Health Care Quality Improvement Act (HCQIA) to Duncan Regional Hospital because it terminated a physician’s privileges and reported him to the National Practitioners Data Bank (NPDB) without providing notice or an opportunity to be heard.
Dr. Hussein applied for and was granted locum tenens privileges at Duncan Regional Hospital for a two week period in April 2004. After only several days of practicing at the Hospital, Dr. Hussein left the hospital and did not return, asserting that the Hospital was requiring him to read too many films per day and thus jeopardizing patient care.
Following meetings at the Credential’s Committee, the Medical Executive Committee and the Hospital’s Board of Directors, Dr. Hussein’s privileges at the Hospital were terminated and the NPDB stated that Dr. Hussein had deserted the Hospital, jeopardized patient care and that his temporary privileges had been terminated.
The opinion states that it is undisputed that the Hospital did not provide Dr. Hussein with notice or an opportunity to be heard.
Among the defenses asserted by the Hospital was immunity pursuant to the terms of the Health Care Quality Improvement Act. The court held that, "as it is undisputed that Dr. Hussein was not given any notice or opportunity to be heard prior to the Hospital’s report . . . the court concludes that defendants are not entitled to immunity under (HCQIA)." The Act provides immunity only if certain conditions are met, one of which is a requirement of notice and an opportunity to be heard to the NPDB.