TMH board lifts doctor privilege moratorium |

TMH board lifts doctor privilege moratorium

Bridget Manley

— The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees lifted a moratorium on privileges for new doctors at Wednesday night’s meeting.

The board put the moratorium in place at its November board meeting, but voted to lift it after Chief of Staff Dr. Alan Reishus, speaking on behalf of the medical staff, asserted that the November vote violated the board’s and the medical staff’s bylaws, as well as state law in regard to open meetings, as the vote to put the moratorium into place was not part of the agenda.

The moratorium could have lasted nine months, which prevented newly hired doctors from practicing a range of procedures from liver biopsies to cesarean sections, Reishus said.

The moratorium was enacted “to ensure that there was objective credential process for specific procedures,” said Samantha Johnson, TMH spokeswoman.

The medical staff felt the moratorium restricted the hospital’s ability to recruit new doctors, Reishus said.

At the November meeting, Reishus raised concerns about how the moratorium was enacted.

“Dr. Reishus stated that the resolution had not been circulated among the doctors and felt the doctors would like additional input and recommended that the resolution be tabled for now,” the minutes from the board’s November meeting reported.

Board members unanimously voted to pass the moratorium, according to the minutes. The board did not meet in December.

The vote to enact the moratorium also circumvented the hospital’s credentials committee, Reishus said. The credentials committee, made up of doctors elected by medical staff, reviews credentials, training and experience, Reishus said.

“The credentials committee is unhappy, the medical staff is unhappy” that the board approved the moratorium, Reishus said. “This is not the way to get off on the right foot.”

The board voted to rescind its moratorium

“I think that in terms of process, the process we used was incorrect,” said Ron Danner, board vice chairman.

Board members also voted to approve the formation of an ad hoc committee, which “is designed to look at the process that will determine the future of our medical staff,” Johnston said. “It’s designed to look at the research that we have and to use that research.”

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