Michael Callahan, senior counsel with Katten's Health Care group recently explored the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA) discrimination statutes with Credentialing Resource Center Journal. Using a recent high profile case at Yale-New Haven Hospital as an example, Michael stated that many hospitals around the country are trying to deal with the issue of how to evaluate an elderly physician's current competency who wishes to continue practicing. A number of them, including Yale-New Haven, have adopted policies requiring that when a physician reaches the age of 70, they need to do a neuropsychological evaluation, vision and other tests. Studies show that beyond the age of 65, everyone's cognitive skills start declining. When treating patients, this can obviously lead to problems. Noting that the complexities around the Yale-New Haven case related to mandatory screening and testing. Michael recommends not making a policy solely based on age. Rather, hospitals should track any evidence of cognitive decline or possible impairment irrespective of the practitioner's age, and then conduct an appropriate assessment including use of Physician Wellness programs. ("Lawsuit brings to light policies around aging physicians," February 2021)

For more information on this topic, view Michael's "Physician Late Career Policies Under EEOC Attack" presentation slides from his AHLA and NAMSS webinar.