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hotline for help 504-621-1670

The CPRJ has been fighting for the rights of medical professionals since 2000. We  have developed custom strategies to address both the type of accusations as well as the source. In addition to services to individual practitioners, we are involved in changing the political climate to be friendlier to both physicians and patients. We have helped numerous medical providers retain their profession and regain their dignity.

The FIRST  thing to do when Sham Peer Reviewed,
Summary Suspended or
when you get a Letter from your State Medical Board


Questions You Should Ask and Know the Answers for
 before responding to any disciplinary action


Services offered by the Center….

  1. "Extra" Judicial or "Extra"- legal services.  Necessary services that your lawyer does not offer  The opposing side enjoys "immunity" and as such, it takes away any advantage the Peer Reviewed Doctor might have
  2. Experienced consulting in sham peer review process
  3. Experienced advocacy
  4. Management of the media to get the truth out, if necessary
  5. Consulting Sham Peer Review Defense
  6. Legal Consulting by independent, Center lawyers
  7. Negotiation
  8. Legal Referral Service.  "The best lawyer is not the most expensive one."  Is your lawyer CPRJ Certified? Check with us for one in your area.
  9. Lectures on "Physician Peer Review Abuse" and/or  State Medical Board Abuse to your organization or medical society
  10. Protecting your practice from some of the possible pitfalls that may result in sham peer review by offering compliance training to your staff... Prevention is the best medicine.
  11. Other services

LECTURES

We are available to lecture and have presentations on the following topics:
  1. Physician Peer Review Abuse (Sham Peer Review)
  2. State Medical Board Abuse
  3. National Practitioner Database Solutions
  4. Medical Office Compliance (Dr Willner is a Certified Medical Office Compliance Officer)   follow link to find out why you need this resource
  5. A topic of your choice.

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and only used to answer your questions or update you on events.

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SHAM PEER REVIEW

Description of disease:

The scientific method generally involves collecting data, making observations, developing theories on the basis of those observations, performing tests of those theories under controlled circumstances, and finally, taking a course of action if those tests prove the theories. Sham peer review is a backward malignant bastardization of the scientific method. It involves making a decision to take the action, then asking minions to collect the data to support the arbitrary decision. It happens in the corporate world every day, i.e., an executive wants to fire an employee, so he asks his lackeys to "get the documentation". This is exactly what happens to physicians in sham peer review as well.

Peer review is a healthy, scientific, positive process by which physicians review what their peers are doing, looking at variances, and studying the how simple outcomes of these variances, and then making recommendations based on these studies. If Dr. X does things differently from Dr. Y and Dr. Z, let's look at Dr. X's outcomes, and if they are not as good as Dr. Y's or Dr. Z's outcomes, perhaps Dr. X might consider changing his methods in order to improve patient care. The course of action usually involves additional education, and punitive actions really have no role in this type of process.

Sham peer review however is not at all concerned with improving patient care, it is usually motivated by corporate profits, greed, or sometimes merely as a personal vendetta if there has been a long-standing or intense animosity towards the physician. It is intended to get a physician "out of the way", perhaps kicked off of a medical staff, or even imprisoned, because he stands in the way of corporate profits even, or especially, if he is a whistleblower on the corporation's illegal or dangerous actions, although the physician may be acting out of a genuine concern for patient safety and care.

Prevalence:

Sham peer review is routinely used by hospital corporations and is currently at epidemic proportions. We know of many outstanding, good, ethical physicians who are currently no longer practicing his profession and support their families. Corporations use lawyers, the physician's personal enemies and economic competitors, and even legislators and law enforcement officials to help them in this bastardization of the peer review process. Sham peer reviewers are often successful if their financial resources dwarf the monetary resources of the physician they are trying to destroy. One of the main difficulties which the sham peer reviewer faces is keeping his true motives hidden, so the corporations which have slick public relations departments and are skilled at press releases, are often the most effective.

Diagnosis:

A good general rule is, any charges against a physicians methods which are not the result of medical staff committees staffed by physicians acting in accordance with medical staff bylaws, is strong suspicion for "SHAM" peer review. Truth often has no meaning in the sham peer review campaign, only the amount of efficient "spin" which the sham peer reviewer can generate, much in the same way that a lawyer is not interested in the truth when he is defending a known murderer, or a prosecuting attorney is interested in the truth because he simply wants to win his case also. Evidence which interferes with winning cases, even if it is truth, is generally disregarded or hidden. It is very common that the physician targeted for Bad Faith Peer Review has no history of medical malpractice suits or complaints to the State Medical Board.
Treatment:
An effective treatment is to consult with the Center for Peer Review Justice.  We invite your email at  info@PeerReview.org  or a call on the Sham Peer Review Hotline: 504-621-1670.


Educating Doctors Against Sham Peer Review

Frequently the careers of physicians and other medical professionals are threatened by sudden challenges, many of which are motivated by bad faith on the part of hospital administrators and other practitioners.

If you are being accused of providing substandard care, being a "disruptive physician" or any other claim that calls into question your ability to practice medicine safely, you could be facing consequences including the following:

  • Loss of hospital privileges
  • Loss of your license
  • A listing in the National Practitioner Data Bank
  • Administrative, regulatory or criminal penalties
  • Federal health care programs exclusion

You need an experienced team with custom strategies to guide you through each stage of the process and stand up for your rights.  The administrative hearings do not follow the same "due process" rule of law that are used in a courtroom.  Are you and your legal team experienced in these frequently closed door meetings?

Winner of the Semmelweis Society's Clean Hands Award!!

26 Oct – Nashville - The Board of Directors is proud to announce that Dr. Richard Willner, is the Semmelweis Society International “Clean Hands Award” recipient for 2010.

Tireless Advocate

Rich Willner honored with Clean Hands AwardCivil litigation is not for everyone, but Dr. Willner has successfully kept physicians employed – even when facing seemingly hopeless odds.

“Litigation is very time-consuming.  One is out of the operating room for prolonged periods of time, it costs a fortune and the rate of success is very poor,” says Willner.

In one case, Dr. Willner’s work led to the resignation of an entire State Podiatric Medical Board.

Among the many ‘thank you’ letters are examples of gratitude for expunging records, reinstated licenses, and prevented data banking – cases that included a neurologist subjected to a criminal trial.  Thanks to Dr. Willner, his medical license was reinstated.

Dr. Willner applies a sound approach to prevent Data Banking by counseling physicians labeled as “disruptive” and getting them back into practice within the specified time limits.  In extreme cases, he has had cases expunged entirely.

SSI commends Dr. Willner for untold hours of mentoring and counseling.  His body of work attests to his love of medicine and deep admiration for honorable physicians.

For more information about Dr. Willner, contact us:

Center for Peer Review Justice
 


SUCCESSFUL  FOLLOW-UPS  -  shared with permission of our former clients. Not all of our clients wish to divulge their stories

15 + YEARS  -- BRIAN GALE.  
12 YEARS   --  PHILIP LEONARD
12 YEARS -- ARIZONA
7, 8 YEARS --  FEMALE  ENT 18 months out of the OR.  got her back into her own OR.  No Courts

We just had EIGHT Year Follow-up of a Sham Peer Review Case.

What is interesting about this case is that this surgeon was suspended, and we got him back to the SAME hospital O.R very quickly., No data banking, No referral to the Physicians Health Program, No referral to the State Medical Board , AND we were able to get this entire matter expunged. This was 5 years ago and there have been no "Reactive Sham Peer Reviews". He knew that I was available at the other end of the phone. And, yes, he called me thru the years and we "talked out" every professional issue he had.
No question this is an unusual case with a perfect ending. Every doctor I work with knows that like in Medicine and in Law, there are no guarantees, no assurances and no refunds. Frankly, it is very challenging to get a win as the Hospital has EVERY legal advantage as well as IMMUNITY. The period of the suspension for the surgeon is a time of unspeakable stress and overwhelming fear. Much of what goes on in Sham Peer Review is not within my control or influence. That is just common sense. This surgeon listened to me intently and followed my suggestions. He understood that the accepted literature on Sham Peer Review reveals a zero to 5 percent success using "traditional methods".

It has been my pleasure and privilege consulting with Physicians and Surgeons over the past 15 years. --- Richard Willner 2/20/15
 
***************************
Richard, I am sitting here today after coming back from a consult wearing the same scrubs that I was wearing Friday July 13, 2007. I know these are the fateful scrubs since I can still see the pen marks of hasty notes I made on the scrubs after the hospital chief of staff summarily suspended me on Friday the 13th.

At the time, I had no clue what the summary suspension meant. I did not understand what peer review meant and ultimately I had no clue what I was facing. My mother was a retired physician and as a woman minority she had only one piece of advice FIGHT. She was willing to lend me her retirement money to set things straight. In the days that followed I spoke with colleagues, risk managers, and proceeded to undergo a sham peer review which felt like I was in wonderland thru the looking glass. My friends at the hospital were worthless and now I know who my true friends are.

Everyone told me get an attorney, sue, claim discrimination etc... I still cant remember exactly how I found you but I believe it was after I Gogled some articles about hospital review and found the term "peer review". That ultimately led me to a cross road. I had contacted 3 attorneys and you. I was surprised when you called me so quickly and your original supposition/observation that I might be stressed out was 1000% correct. When you meet someone on the internet it is hard to believe if what they are saying is true or complete fabrication so we talked and talked and talked.

I took your advice, testing it along the way. I was able to turn the heat/anger down by taking a conciliatory route while at the same time negotiating with the hospital with an attorney that was interested in solving the problem not dragging it out. After comparing notes with other physicians which spent 50,100, 200, 300 thousand dollars I realize how lucky I was.

Thank you for taking the time to speak with my mother (retired neurologist) since she was the only person whose advice I trusted and she wanted to fight to the last dollar. I am also glad that I took you advice on avoiding publicity, public discussion, reports to JCAPHO and the state. Ultimately those efforts would have painted the hospital and medial staff into a corner and they would have National Practitioner Databanked me as well as reporting me to the state board for certain.

Your advice reminds me a lot of the cognitive benefit of the internist. Sometimes doing nothing or advising to do nothing can avoid unproductive costly intervention and mistakes. That is a lot more difficult to quantify then performing a surgery but far more valuable to the patient. Unfortunately not all patients appreciate that when I give them advice to have no surgery or prescribe no medications during a consultation. The cognitive is truly very difficult to quantify.

The end result of my current summary suspension is that the summary suspension has been lifted, full privileges have been restored and the chief of staff has agree to expunge the summary suspension. I was able to settle with the hospital with an agreement which left my privileges intact and was a complete win for me. The hospital Medical Executive Committee has approved the agreement and last I heard from the attorney the board will endorse the MEC approval.

Just in time for my birthday today! That was a hell of a gift. I wish it had a receipt so I could return the damn thing but it was a tremendous learning experience.

Thank you for all your advice and I have referred a few colleagues who have been databanked or have a peer review sham pending.
S. O. MD
 

Call The Center at 504-621-1670 or email us for details
 

 Conferences - More TBA

Dr Richard Willner,  Faculty member in Seattle Conference
 Thrive - Not JUST Survive III: "Shark Proof Your Practice"

Agenda from San Antonio Conference
Thrive - Not JUST Survive II: "Shark Proof Your Practice"



Dr Willner quoted or featured in the Media

(click on link to read article)

Should " DUE PROCESS RIGHTS " be part of hospital peer review?

By Judge Scott E. Segall and William Pearl, MD

....There is no federal statute that requires peer review committees to observe due process, which the Supreme Court has defined as giving written notice of the actions contemplated, convening a hearing, allowing both sides to present evidence at the hearing, and having an independent adjudicator 

 ... Because the HCQIA mandates the reporting of disciplinary actions of peer review committees to the National Practitioner Data Bank, such a report could harm a physician's career throughout the nation

... Additionally, there is no requirement that the physician be given notice and an opportunity to be heard, and there is no requirement that members of the peer review committee be unbiased. The HCQIA recommends that the physician should get notice of the allegations, time to prepare for a hearing, a list of witnesses, the right to legal counsel, and an impartial fact finder.

... However, the act concludes "A professional review body's failure to meet the conditions described in this subsection shall not, in itself, constitute failure to meet the standards of this act)." This failure of the HCQIA to require due process calls into question the fundamental fairness of the medical peer review system..

...The purpose of requiring due process is to ensure that the actions taken are not arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable. Where there is no due process, the system invites abuse  

...Peer review in its current form fails to protect an investigated physician from committee members having an economic or personal bias. Economic bias occurs when a committee member has a financial interest in the outcome. 

...Personal bias is inevitable when coworkers judge each other. Some people are very likable, and others illuminate the room by their absence.

...Federal law prohibits a federal judge from hearing cases in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned or in which he has a financial interest (11). The same standards should apply to member of a peer review committee. The potential for abuse when these suggested procedures are not followed would indicate the need for mandatory due process.

 ...The effects of an adverse peer review decision are no longer limited to the relationship between a physician and a hospital. The decision becomes part of the National Practitioner Data Bank. Medical peer review must provide physicians the protections of due process.

These are excerpts...for Full Article follow Link  

Check out our new affiliate at War on Doctors - There has been a battle pursuing doctors for years. Now it seems to be on all fronts.  Enlist in the Battle.

Slander by Medical Experts


What to do when your lawyer
did not give you the success he implied

CPRJ Certification
Is your lawyer CPRJ Certified?


Are "TIME", "NEWSWEEK" and "USA TODAY" Going To Be
Investigating ....

Join the Battle!

Follow link for

Peer Review Justice

What Others are Saying about the Center

We do not showcase our wins as people deserve their privacy. However, I do show their "Thank you notes" with their initials with their permission.

Our testimonials section is moving to a new section please follow link


"Dr. Willner is an experienced advocate. He represents physicians and other licensed health care providers around the country who have been accused of wrongdoing and are facing the loss of their hospital privileges and / or their license to practice medicine. Notably, Dr. Willner has been able to succeed in cases where legal representation may have failed. While there are some cases where even Dr. Willner may not ultimately prevail, his clients are assured of a hard-fought battle on their behalf. As an attorney, I heartily welcome Dr. Willner's expertise and assistance in peer review cases." October 1, 2012
Top qualities: Great Results, Personable, Good Value
1st Robert W. Liles, ESQ, MBA, MS
 

I hired Richard as a Doctor in 2006, and hired Richard more than once

"Actually, I have asked his advice and he has mine, and we both discussed the problems with sham peer reviews, since , I have been one who has paid a deep price for thinking outside the box. I also discuss how we are all not built perfectly mentally and how we are all being beat up both mentally and physically from the stress of this world.
He has helped me understand the nature and unfairness of this beast, and then has tried to find any solutions to my dilemma, which is more than most of my colleagues could do.
He is a good guy, a little nuts (who isn't) and he is still trying to slay the dragon. Carry on, Richard , The NEW Orleans Mensch!" July 20, 2012
Top qualities: Expert, High Integrity, Creative
1st Dr. Stu Rosan
 

I hired Richard as a Business Consultant in 2007

Richard is very passionate about his career and this is not a popular job-fighting the establishment powers of the health world about their abuse of power in punishing doctors because of their beliefs .

A very thankless job , and more doctors should appreciate that Richard is one of the few true advocates in keeping the health world as fair as possible to doctors .
Plus he is a little crazy in a "good way"¯ April 15, 2012
1st Dr. Stu Rosan, solo family doctor, Stuart Rosan D.O.

 
 

Defining the terms-- (more listed in Members Only section)

Definition of Professional Misconduct
Peer Review Principals - general concept of peer review- multi-disciplinary
Additional Definition of Professional Misconduct, Limited Application
(CA) Background Paper on Medical Peer Review - defines "805 report"
Requirements for the Dr Expert Witness

Legal/Judicial (more listed in Members Only section)

Links for Legal Research - includes legal precedents
Heath Hippo: Quality Assurance - US Statutes and Administrative Codes
 

Physician Victims of Sham Peer Review - more listed in Sham Peer Review is Rampant
these are not all CPRJ cases but they are in our data base of cases
all decisions may become precedent setting

Dr Brian Gale  - podiatrist in North Dakota. It's bad news when your competition "owns" the State Board of your specialty. A Peer Review Justice client that has his license back and is catching up on his bills.....he also unseated most of the state board and changed the state statutes! I have the scars of a sham peer review!
Dr. Philip J Leonard  - NEVER place a bottle of lidocaine or keep a cell phone in your pants pocket.
"Peer Review Can Be Deadly"

 
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