A Henry Ford Health ophthalmologist is suing the health system over its policy of requiring evaluations based solely on age, starting with 70-year-olds, according to a federal lawsuit.
Dr. Lylas Mogk filed suit against Henry Ford Health and Henry Ford Medical Group in U.S. District Court in Detroit last month under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the genetic information discrimination and Elliott- state. Larsen Civil Rights Act and Disability Civil Rights Act.
Mogk, 84, of Grosse Pointe Park, has worked for Henry Ford Health since January 1995 and is the founder and past director of the Henry Ford Center for Vision Research and Rehabilitation. She is also a member of Henry Ford Medical Group and is subject to the group’s policy on fitness for duty of senior employees and biosciences, which took effect in 2017, according to the complaint complaint filed in court.
This policy requires that “all HFMG members who have reached age 70 will receive a cognitive screening assessment. This assessment will be based solely on age. This assessment will be repeated at age 75 and annually thereafter,” the lawsuit said. It also states the cognitive assessment will be conducted by the health system’s behavioral services department. If further evaluation is required, a member of Henry Ford Medical Group will have a full fitness for duty assessment performed by an independent examiner.
“IF an HFMG member fails to comply with the age screening requirement, the employee will voluntarily resign or be terminated,” according to the complaint filed with the court.
Yale School of Medicine faces similar allegations
The lawsuit, which Mogk’s attorneys want to be certified as a class action, says Mogk underwent a screening evaluation in March 2018 solely because she was 70 years old “and for no other reason.” .
The lawsuit asks the court to bar the defendants from continuing to use the policy and to award Mogk and the other plaintiffs in the class reimbursement/damages for lost earnings for any compensation any loss due to this policy.
Mogk’s attorney, John Runyan, said he and Mogk had no comment.
Lauren Zakalik, a spokeswoman for Henry Ford Health, said they cannot comment on pending litigation.
Than:Thousands of older workers each year say age discrimination is real
Mogk specializes in vision and low vision rehabilitation and is chair of the Michigan Commission for the Blind, consultant to the Michigan Office of Blind Services, and former chair of the Vision Rehabilitation Committee of the Academy of Ophthalmology faculty of the United States, according to her biography on the website. Henry Ford Medical Website.
This is not the first federal lawsuit involving age-specific cognitive screening by doctors.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a lawsuit in 2020 alleging that Yale New Haven Hospital, the teaching hospital of the Yale School of Medicine, adopted and implemented a discriminatory policy requiring anyone 70 years of age or older applying for or seeking to renew staff privileges at a hospital that performs both neuropsychological and ophthalmic examinations. According to the lawsuit release, employees under the age of 70 are not subject to these requirements.
The EEOC claims that by requiring older hospital applicants and employees to comply with this policy, the hospital violated the Age Discrimination in Employment Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case is pending in U.S. District Court in Connecticut.
“While Yale New Haven Hospital may claim that its policy is in good faith, it violates anti-discrimination laws.” “There are many other non-discriminatory methods that have been adopted to ensure the competency of all physicians and other health care providers, regardless of age.”
In 2012, Stanford University Medical Center announced a policy for evaluating “late practitioners.” It states that physicians 75 years of age or older who practice at Stanford Hospital and Clinics or Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital must undergo evaluations to confirm that they can continue to perform their clinical responsibilities. effectively, according to a statement at the time.
AMA: ‘Age is not the deciding factor’
People 74 years of age and older apply for medical privileges at the hospital, and current medical staff 75 years of age or older must undergo a physical exam, cognitive screening, and peer review of clinical performance. their clinic every two years to maintain hospital privileges.
Three years later, the student-run newspaper Stanford Daily reported that the university’s faculty senate passed a motion asking university leaders to end the screening process and switch to testing. unified capacity.
Than:Ford settles lawsuit accusing the automaker of targeting high-performing older workers
The American Medical Association’s policy states that screening and physician assessment guidelines should be based on evidence “about the significance of cognitive changes related to aging and other factors that may affects the performance of doctors. Some doctors may experience a decline in performance with increasing age, acquired disability or other influences. Research shows that the effect of age on performance may vary widely. Because of the large differences seen in cognitive performance with age, age is not a determining factor.”
According to AMA data provided by spokesperson Jennifer Sellers, there are 682,478 practicing physicians 65 years of age or younger in the United States and 21,213 practicing physicians in that age group in Michigan.
According to the data, 139,565 US physicians in clinical practice are between the ages of 66 and 75; 28,785 people are 76 to 85 years old and 2,515 people are 86 years old or older.
In Michigan, AMA data shows 4,166 physicians between the ages of 66 and 75; 914 people were 76 to 85 years old and 93 people were 86 years old or older.
Most Michigan health systems do not test based on age
“We do not support testing based on a fixed age,” said Dr. Tom George, CEO of the Michigan State Medical Association and an anesthesiologist who has practiced for 38 years in Kalamazoo.
McLaren Health Care spokesman David Jones said the health system has no such corporate policy. Michigan Medicine does not screen for cognition based on age, said spokeswoman Mary Masson.
Corewell Health, the state’s largest health care system, said it does not have a systemwide policy requiring cognitive screening assessments based solely on age. They said their doctors “must be fully certified, requiring medical license renewal every three years, including continuing medical education.”
George said the Michigan State Medical Association is not opposed to testing or reporting impaired physicians, but it could be for a variety of reasons. He said licensing is needed to report cases of functional impairment, not just cognitive impairment, adding that the most likely causes of impairment are situations such as substance abuse and fatigue. tired.
He said he was familiar with doctors who reported it “but it’s almost always because of substance abuse. I can’t think of any doctor that I know… directly, who had to be considered or investigated because of the perception.” problem.”
George said while capabilities change as people age, many physicians self-regulate and scale back their practices as they age. George, 66, said he stopped working overnight a few years ago because it was too difficult to stay awake and alert at 3:30 a.m. to care for a trauma patient.
He said he knows surgeons who don’t operate anymore because they don’t want to stand up for long, complicated operations. But those who are older or late in their careers may work in the office with other surgeons, helping manage the office and seeing patients after surgery.
Additionally, he said, there are four mechanisms for screening or asking physicians if they have the ability to practice competently: licensing, obtaining malpractice insurance, hospital certification and board recertification administration.
“We have an interest, society has an interest… in both things. We want to protect the public, that’s true, from doctors who may have cognitive problems, but we also there is a shortage of doctors, nurses and other health care providers.” . So we also want to allow them to train appropriately, if possible, as they age in an appropriate way. So we’re trying to balance both of those things,” George said.
Contact Christina Hall: email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter: @challreporter.
Support local journalism. Subscribe to the Free Press.
#Henry #Ford #Health #doctors #sue #agebased #cognitive #screening #assessments
Image Source : www.freep.com