AHA and other national and state hospital and nurse professional associations yesterday urged the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to overturn a 2015 decision by the National Labor Relations Board that directly threatens the confidentiality of the hospital peer review process. “For more than sixty years, peer review has been an essential way to monitor and improve health care delivery,” the associations asserted in a friend-of-the-court brief. “But it requires strict confidentiality in order to succeed. The Board’s decision consistently undervalues the need for strict confidentiality in medical peer review. The Court should vacate the Board’s order for lack of jurisdiction, or alternatively reverse the erroneous Board determinations.” The Aug 28 decision involving Menorah Medical Center in Overland Park, KS, erroneously required the hospital to produce peer review documents to the union; incorrectly struck down the hospital’s rule requiring confidentiality of discussions at peer review proceedings; and required the hospital to permit direct participation in the peer review process by third-party union representatives that could risk a general waiver of peer review privilege. Joining AHA on the brief were the Federation of American Hospitals, the state hospital associations in Kansas and Texas, Texas Nurses Association and the American and Texas Organizations of Nurse Executives. AHA, the Kansas and Texas Hospital Associations and Texas Nurses Association had previously supported the hospital before the Board.

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