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Monday, June 23, 2008

HCQIA and Sham Peer Review: The Petition

HCQIA (Health Care Qaulity Improvement Act) was a well intentioned law that wound up helping to facilitate sham peer review. It was a complicated bill passed in 1986. Among many of its provisions, it gave near total immunity for doctors that are part of medical peer review. With their newfound powers, much of the apparatus in many of the states that performed medical peer review were corrupted.

This law has given license to such corrupt organizations as the Texas Medical Board to absolutely run wild and do what they please with impugnity.

I have been running a serious of stories in which doctors were the victims of sham peer review. These are stories like a doctor in South Carolina that was targeted for reporting on a serial killer nurse, a doctor in Texas targeted by Blue Cross/Blue Shield, a nurse that was targeted after he reported on illegal drug testing at his hospital, the Texas Medical Board's systematic targeting of doctors, and the tragic case of obscene corruption at Atlanta's Grady Hospital. Finally, you can check out a similar case in which a doctor in Rhode Island was also targeted after she reported on suspected child abuse.

In all of these, the folks that were corrupting the system were in fact being shielded by HCQIA as well. As such, it made perpetration of sham peer review that much easier.

Here is a petition to support a bill that would protect doctors when they blow the whistle on poor patient care. This would amend HCQIA to protect doctors. So far, the signature volume has been underwhelming so I hope you will take a minute to stop by.

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