A senate committee approved changing the peer review process in Kentucky hospitals.
Bill sponsor Ralph Alvarado said the legislation is focused on patient safety, hospital safety, and improving the review process when there are odd medical outcomes. The Winchester doctor said 48 other states have similar legislation. He said anonymity is important to reduce the possibility of one doctor suing another.
“If you’re going to be open for lawsuits, doctors say I don’t want to serve on that committee because I’m going to have to be critical of colleagues and I might get sued. That’s what’s happening right now and we’re having a hard time recruiting doctors to review each other.”
Speaking against the bill was Louisville trial lawyer Paul Kasey. He argued medically injured patients should have access to peer review records to ensure complete truthfulness about specific cases.
“There will be circumstances where an injured victim is deprived of critical information and where a physician or a hospital can take positions that are totally contrary from what they know to be the truth, ” he said.
Alvarado, meanwhile, said some doctors today are hesitant to serve on hospital based peer panels because they may be sued by a fellow physician under review. The bill, approved 7-3, heads to the full Senate.