New York Consolidated Laws, Public Health Law - PBH § 2801-b. Improper practices in hospital staff appointments and extension of professional privileges prohibited

1. It shall be an improper practice for the governing body of a hospital to refuse to act upon an application for staff membership or professional privileges or to deny or withhold from a physician, podiatrist, optometrist, dentist or licensed midwife staff membership or professional privileges in a hospital, or to exclude or expel a physician, podiatrist, optometrist, dentist or licensed midwife from staff membership in a hospital or curtail, terminate or diminish in any way a physician's, podiatrist's, optometrist's, dentist's or licensed midwife's professional privileges in a hospital, without stating the reasons therefor, or if the reasons stated are unrelated to standards of patient care, patient welfare, the objectives of the institution or the character or competency of the applicant.  It shall be an improper practice for a governing body of a hospital to refuse to act upon an application or to deny or to withhold staff membership or professional privileges to a podiatrist based solely upon a practitioner's category of licensure.

2. Any person claiming to be aggrieved by an improper practice as defined in this section may, by himself or his attorney, make, sign and file with the public health council a verified complaint in writing which shall state the name and address of the hospital whose governing body is alleged to have committed the improper practice complained of and which shall set forth the particulars thereof and contain such other information as may be required by the council.

3. After the filing of any such complaint, the public health council shall make a prompt investigation in connection therewith.  In conducting such investigation, the public health council is authorized to receive reports from the governing body of the hospital and the complainant, as the case may be, and the furnishing of such information to the public health council, or by the council to the governing body or complainant, shall not subject any person or hospital to any action for damages or other relief.  Such information when received by the public health council, or its authorized representative, shall be kept confidential and shall be used solely for the purposes of this section and the improvement of the standards of patient care and patient welfare.  The records of such proceedings shall not be admissible as evidence in any other action of any kind in any court or before any other tribunal, board, agency, or person.  If the council shall determine after such investigation that cause exists for crediting the allegations of the complaint, the council shall promptly so advise the governing body of the hospital against which the complaint was made, and shall direct that such governing body make a review of the actions of such body in denying or withholding staff membership or professional privileges from the complainant physician, podiatrist, optometrist, dentist or licensed midwife or in excluding or expelling such physician, podiatrist, optometrist, dentist or licensed midwife from staff membership or in curtailing, terminating or in any way diminishing such physician's, podiatrist's, optometrist's, dentist's or licensed midwife's professional privileges in the hospital.

4. The provisions of this section shall not be deemed to impair or affect any other right or remedy.


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