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Michael Callahan Quoted on Physician Whistleblower Protections

Firm News | January 22, 2018

Michael Callahan, Health Care partner, spoke with WSMA Reports on efforts by the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA) to broaden physician whistleblower protections and ensure fair review processes. Michael stressed the importance of peer review as a part of accreditation standards, Medicare conditions of participation, and state and federal law. He noted that a cultural shift toward education is needed, stating, "I've done more than 200 hearings in my career. When I give presentations, I say 70 percent of these would not have been necessary if the physicians felt comfortable enough to say 'I made a mistake' or 'I could have done better.'" When issues are addressed early and open reporting is encouraged, it allows adverse events and potential risks—and the individuals and organizations responsible—to be handled in a way that is just. Michael added, "If it goes to a hearing, it's going to litigation. It is an extremely expensive process that has a chilling effect on efforts to improve patient care." ("Protecting Physician Whistleblowers," January 2018)

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