Pennsylvania Superior Court Rejects Peer Review Confidential for “Business Records”

Contributed by Michael A. Cassidy

In Kates v. Doylestown Hospital, the Pennsylvania Superior Court, in a non-precedential decision, held back the Pennsylvania Peer Review Protection Act does not provide confidentiality protection for certain records, stating:

Peer review necessarily involves evaluating the quality of care provided by medical professionals or evaluating the qualifications of medical care providers. 0045cept for those portions that we held could be redacted, the documents/communications at issue were not used or made for the determination of staff privileges or for credentialing purposes. These documents/communications were not used exclusively for quality assurance purposes by the Stroke Committee and are not incorporated exclusively within a physician’s credentialing file. See Dodson, supra. Furthermore, Doylestown Hospital cannot point to a definitive action initiating the peer review process prior to the time these documents were created. See Mazzucca [v. Methodist Hospital], 47 D. & C. 3d [55], 60 [(Phila.Cty. 1985)]. Quite simply, the emails, agenda and minutes we ordered discoverable are non-peer review business records and communications that are neither used, nor generated by the Stroke Committee for peer review purposes.