Thank you for your question.
A hospital peer review committee cannot compel a physician to turn over records generated in the physician's private office. However, failure to turn over the records could be a violation of the physician's hospital privileges and result in a claim of breach of contract.
In regard to whether or not the records are privileged, it depends on the type of records. If these are patient medical records, then they would be confidential under HIPPA from public release, but are not privileged between the physician and the peer review committee. Further, this is not an improper disclosure of patient records under the doctor-patient privilege. If there records are privileged as attorney client communications, then this is another matter. So, to answer the question fully, we have to analyze what type of records are being requested for disclosure.
Please let me know if you need further information or want to discuss this matter in more detail.
I suppose what I am really asking is whether a private physician's patient medical records can be the subject of hospital peer review and adjudication, if the patient encounter did not take place within the hospital environment, yet, a subsequent encounter did, and the hospital committee seeks to adjudicate the entire range of encounters.
I need some more information from you.
1. When you say "adjudicate" do you mean that there is a claim by the patient against the doctor which the hospital is arbitrating?
2. If so, is there a document which grants the hospital the right to adjudicate such claims?
by using the word adjudicate, I refer to a request by the peer review committee for the physician to respond to questions relating to the patient/physician contact outside the hospital jurisdiction
I believe that in this situation, the physician cannot be compelled to turn over the documents. However, failure to do so may result in loss of privileges at the hospital.
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