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| 1 minute read

Due process rights sought in Congress for physicians whose groups contract with hospitals

Reminiscent of efforts by the American College of Radiology (ACR) in the 1990s, legislation has been introduced in Congress to ensure that all physicians have due process rights before they lose the right to practice in hospitals. The legislation prohibits hospitals from requiring those physicians to waive their due process rights. The Physician and Patient Safety Act is patroned by U.S. Senators Roger Marshall, M.D. (R-KS) and Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), as well as Representatives Raul Ruiz, M.D. (D-CA), John Joyce, M.D. (R-PA), Katie Porter (D-CA), and Greg Murphy, M.D. (R-NC).

In today's climate, when radiology groups enter into professional services agreements with hospitals, individual radiologists almost universally execute exhibits to the PSAs to acknowledge that they waive all medical staff bylaw fair hearing rights and agree to resign their medical staff privileges should their group's hospital contract terminate or not be renewed.

In the early 90s, the ACR and others in organized medicine advocated for fair hearing rights for physicians who had not waived those bylaw rights when their group's contract ended. In 1991, the New York Times described that advocacy at the time. Some courts had held that medical staff bylaws were contracts between the physicians and hospitals, and those physicians who had not waived bylaw rights were entitled to hearings before their ability to exercise their privileges was curtailed. Most courts today support and uphold the current contracting approach to permit hospitals to deny hospital access to physicians after their group's contract ends. And they uphold individual waiver acknowledgments.

The legislation directs the Secretary of Health and Human Services to issue final regulations to provide that physicians with medical staff privileges at a hospital “have a fair hearing and appellate review through appropriate medical staff mechanisms before any termination, restriction, or reduction of the professional activity of such physicians or staff privileges of such physicians at such hospital.”

This proposal will be fascinating to watch.


This bill would address this oversight and ensure due process rights for physicians who are employed by third-party contractors or physician staffing companies.


radiologists, hospitals, due process, health care & life sciences