Report From the States

Medical Staff Bylaws --- An Outline

José Guerra.Jr., MD

In response to the corporatization of medicine in general and our local hospital administration trying to eliminate the contract with ER physicians in January 1997 in particular, the Medical Staff passed several Bylaws Amendments by greater than the two-thirds majority vote of active staff members in June 1997.

Slightly paraphrased for this article these Bylaws:

1) Add to the Existing Preamble to provide the professional and legal structure for Medical Staff operations and relations with the Board of Trustees, and are mutually binding.

2) Successor in Interest: These Bylaws and the clinical privileges accorded under them, will be binding upon the hospital and Medical Staff of any successor in interest in this Hospital.

3) Effect of Hospital's Affiliation: Affiliation with other hospitals, healthcare systems or similar entities shall not in and of itself affect these Medical Staff Bylaws.

4) Medical Staff Role in Exclusive Contracting: The Medical Staff shall review and make recommendations to the Board of Trustees regarding quality of care issues related to the following:

a) The decision to execute an exclusive contract in a previously open department or service; or b) to renew or modify, or c) to terminate an exclusive contract in a particular department or service.

Should the Board of Trustees decision on such issues be in variance with Medical Staff recommendations, the Board of Trustees shall make specific, written explanations for its decision.

5) Exceptions to Hearing Rights: (There are no exceptions to fair hearing rights.) These Bylaws are not subject to waiver by contract or otherwise between hospital and other parties.

We are continuing to work with the administration and the Board of Trustees regarding these Bylaws Amendments. Mr. Andrew Schlafly, a legal advisor to AAPS, is representing the Medical Staff. The AMA-Organized Medical Staff Section published in mid-1998, a "Physi-cians' Guide to Bylaws," is an extremely useful document from which the above-mentioned Bylaws Amendments were taken nearly verbatim.


Dr. Guerra is the Chief of Staff at Wood County Hospital in Bowling Green, Ohio, e-mail:

Originally published in the Medical Sentinel 1999;4(2);65-66. Copyright©1999 Association of American Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS)