FAQs about the Massachusetts Medical Society's Medical Peer Review Consultant Referral List

What is it?
The Medical Peer Review Consultant Referral List is a database of physicians in Massachusetts interested in serving as consultants to medical peer review committees. Our goal is to help match interested physicians with organizations when the level of expertise required is unavailable or an independent review of peer review findings is desired. This list is intended to serve as a resource for interested parties such as health care entities afforded statutory peer review protection (e.g., hospitals, health maintenance organizations, licensed clinics, and nursing homes).

How can I participate?
If you are interested in serving as a consultant, please complete the Peer Review Consultant Submission Form and either fax it to (781) 893-9369 or mail it to the Office of the General Counsel, Massachusetts Medical Society, 860 Winter Street, Waltham, MA 02451.

I am seeking a consultant to assist a medical peer review committee. How do I obtain a list of physicians willing to participate?
Any interested party can request the names of physicians willing to assist his or her medical peer review committee by completing the Consultant Referral Request Form and either faxing to (781) 893-9369 or mailing it to the Office of the General Counsel, Massachusetts Medical Society, 860 Winter Street, Waltham, MA 02451.

How much does it cost?
Physicians do not pay a fee for inclusion, and there is no charge for interested parties to request a referral. The MMS is committed to promoting efforts to improve the quality of care.
The nature of the services and responsibilities and any compensation for services are to be agreed upon between the organization and the consultant.

As a consultant, how much should I charge?
The nature of the services and responsibilities and any compensation for services are to be agreed upon between the organization and the consultant.

If I agree to serve as a consultant, do I expose myself to liability?
While the MMS cannot provide legal advice, we can share that there are specific laws that protect the medical peer review process and the physicians who participate on medical peer review committees. In fact, Massachusetts law mandates that the proceedings, records, and findings of medical peer review committees be confidential and not subject to discovery in legal proceedings. This broad statutory privilege serves to encourage physicians to participate without fear of entanglement in malpractice litigation or exposure to personal liability. This "peer review privilege" is rooted in public policy to support physicians in their self-regulatory efforts to monitor the competency and conduct of their peers. The courts reason that this privilege promotes the vigorous and "uninhibited expression of professional opinions" by physicians, hospitals, and other health care institutions that is essential to improving the quality of care. If you have specific legal questions, please consult your attorney.

As an organization, how much should we pay the consultant?
The nature of the services and responsibilities and any compensation for services are to be agreed upon between the organization and the consultant.

How are the consultants selected for inclusion in the database?
Physicians self-select for inclusion in the database. The MMS does not evaluate the qualifications of or credential the physicians who request to be listed.

For more information about the registry contact:
Office of the General Counsel
860 Winter Street, Waltham, MA 02451-1411

tel: (781) 434-7241
fax: (781) 893-9369
Email: PRCRegistry@listserv.massmed.org

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