In the wake of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals’ recent reversal of the Kadlec decision, many hospitals are left questioning whether laws in their state create a duty to disclose information when responding to third-party inquiries about current and former medical staff physicians who have documented quality of care or impairment problems. Because the Fifth Circuit’s interpretation of this issue turned on state law in Louisiana, the analysis of whether a duty to disclose exists will vary from state to state. In light of this state-specific analysis, if a situation like Kadlec occurred in Illinois, what obligations would Illinois hospitals have in terms of disclosing information to other hospitals and medical centers about former medical staff physicians?

This advisory addresses the duty to disclose and offers recommendations for hospitals.