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Partner Michael Callahan Discusses Medical Staff Drug and Alcohol Testing with Healthcare Risk Management

Firm News | November 6, 2013

Michael Callahan, a partner in the Health Care practice, was quoted in Healthcare Risk Management on the challenges of implementing a medical staff drug and alcohol testing program. While it is possible to write physician bylaws to require drug and alcohol testing after an adverse event, Michael cautions that complicating factors can threaten the effectiveness of any testing and expose a hospital to liability: “The only way to implement this is through the medical bylaws. If it is not in the bylaws, your physicians are going to say that they don’t have to comply, and they will be right.” He adds that not only does a strict, specific definition of what constitutes an adverse event and triggers the testing requirement have a better chance of surviving a legal challenge, but “You have more leverage with your employed physicians, because you can impose more employment qualifications on them and set the bar higher.” (“Many Legal Issues Complicate Drug and Alcohol Testing,” November 2013) 

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