Stephanie A. Russo is a Florida Bar Board Certified Health Law attorney with more than 20 years’ experience representing hospitals, healthcare systems, and other healthcare providers, including one of the largest for—profit health care companies in the United States, on an array of operational, regulatory compliance, and litigation matters. Florida Bar Board Certification is the highest level of recognition by the Florida Bar of the competency and experience of attorneys in the areas of law approved by the Supreme Court of Florida.
Stephanie represents and advises healthcare entities, the collective medical staff, and individual healthcare professionals on matters concerning the organization and operations of medical and professional staffs in healthcare entities and organizations, including but not limited to: medical staff bylaws and rules; performance of medical staff responsibilities; appointments, credentialing, and privileging; dealing with behaviors that undermine a culture of safety and impaired healthcare professionals; conducting peer review and quality assurance; taking corrective action; providing fair hearings for medical and allied health professional staffs; peer review communications and records confidentiality; National Practitioner Data Bank querying and reporting; peer review immunities; the effect of hospital business arrangements (e.g., exclusive contracts, mergers, acquisitions) upon medical staff membership and privileges; compliance with regulatory and accreditation requirements; risk management; EMTALA; informed consent, advance directives, and bioethics; substance abuse treatment; and health information privacy and confidentiality.
Below is a selected sampling of matters and is provided for informational purposes only. Past success does not indicate the likelihood of success in any future matter.
- Reviewed hospital bariatric surgery program, including credentialing and privileging and peer review of all surgeons, and recommended program, policy and credentialing and privileging changes and best practices to comply with accreditation standards and regulations and improve quality, post a multi—million—dollar jury verdict entered against a hospital for vicarious liability for malpractice and fraudulent representations about surgeon’s credentials.
- Drafted health information privacy policies for healthcare system to comply with HIPAA and Florida specific privacy standards.
- Advised on medical staff disputes, including litigation, concerning governance, credentialing and privileging, peer review and physician discipline.
- Reviewed and revised hospital’s medical staff bylaws to ensure compliance with all Joint Commission standards and state law.
- Advised hospital on transition to centralized credentialing.
- Reviewed policies and practices on involuntary treatment of mental illness and substance abuse impairment, recommended revisions and trained hospital staff.
- Investigated suspected drug diversion by anesthesia providers, assisted with peer review of providers, drafted policy for progressive response to provider discrepancies and oversaw ongoing monitoring of and response to discrepancies.
- Assisted and advised medical review committees and governing bodies of hospitals on credentialing, privileging and discipline and fair hearings for numerous physicians, including physicians reported to have engaged in behaviors that undermine a culture of safety, and drafted a hospital—wide behavior code of conduct and a medical staff policy for handling such reports.
- Defended numerous physician lawsuits on the denial or termination of privileges.