Physician Peer Review Immunity: Time to Euthanize a Fatally Flawed Policy
Lee Med., Inc. v. Beecher, 312 S.W.3d 515 (2010)
This appeal involves a pretrial discovery dispute. The sole issue presented is whether the trial court erred by refusing to order the discovery of the Bard Report and other records sought by Lee Medical that relate to TriStar's decision to stop outsourcing the vascular access services at its hospitals.
[The court held that the consideration of whether to stop outsourcing the provision of vascular access services was not a peer review proceeding for the purpose of Tenn.Code Ann. § 63–6–219(e)]
Courts construing ambiguous statutes may also consider matters beyond the text of the statute. Our conclusions regarding the scope of the privilege in Tenn.Code Ann. § 63–6–219(e) based on the statutory language, legislative history and prior amendments are buttressed by five considerations external to the statute itself. ...
Fourth, the history of the use of “peer review” in the field of health care demonstrates that its focus has consistently been on physicians....Despite some internal dissent, the medical profession firmly believes that the peer review process is fundamental to improving the quality of health care.
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