Joint Commission Approves Revised Medical Staff Bylaws Standard

On March 15, 2010, the Joint Commission announced revisions to Medical Staff Standard MS.01.01.01 (formerly known as MS.1.20). The revisions are based on the unanimous recommendations of an 18-member expert task force representing the American College of Physicians, American College of Surgeons, American Dental Association, American Hospital Association, American Medical Association, Federation of American Hospitals and the National Association of Medical Staff Services, as well as hospital trustees and medical staff attorneys. MS.01.01.01 addresses the medical staff’s self-governance and its accountability to the governing body for the quality and safety of patient care, and recognizes that while a hospital’s governing body is ultimately responsible for the quality and safety of care, the governing body, medical staff and administration must collaborate to achieve this goal. To facilitate this collaboration, the new standard makes significant changes to the requirements for a hospital’s medical staff bylaws and represents a shift of power from the hospital’s medical executive committee to the broader voting medical staff. The revised standard becomes effective on March 31, 2011, providing hospitals and their medical staff a full year to understand and incorporate the new requirements and the Joint Commission an opportunity to provide any necessary clarifications.

For further information on how this revision may affect staff privilege issues for physicians, please contact Robert S. Iwrey, Esq. at (248) 996-8510 or visit the HLP website.