Code of Conduct

SIR Connect Code of Conduct

Thank you for being part of SIR Connect (the “Site”). To ensure the best possible experience for all members, we have established some basic guidelines for participation.

By joining and using this Site, you agree that you have read and will follow these rules and guidelines. You also agree to reserve discussions and shared files and content to that best suited to the medium. This is a great resource with which to solicit the advice of your peers, benefit from their experience, and participate in an ongoing conversation. If you have questions, please contact Caitlin Couture at volunteer@sirweb.org  or call at (703) 691-1805.

Please take a moment to acquaint yourself with these important guidelines. If you have questions, contact the member services department. In order to preserve a climate that encourages both civil and fruitful dialogue, we reserve the right to suspend or terminate access to this site for anyone who violates these rules. 

The Rules

  • Don't challenge or attack others. The discussions and comments are meant to stimulate conversation and not to create contention. Let others have their say, just as you may. 
  • Don't post commercial messages on any discussion list, resource library entry, or other area of this Site where others might see it. Contact people directly with product and service information if you believe it would help them.
  • Use caution when discussing products. Information posted on the lists and in the libraries of this Site is available for all to see, and comments are subject to libel, slander, and antitrust laws. 
  • All defamatory, abusive, profane, threatening, offensive, or illegal materials or statements are strictly prohibited. Do not post anything that you would not want the world to see or that you would not want anyone to know came from you. 
  • Do not post any information that would compromise the privacy or confidentiality of your patients.  All patient identifiers must be removed, including those contained in patient images.
  • Please note carefully all items listed in the disclaimer and legal rules below, particularly regarding the copyright ownership of information posted. 
  • Remember that other participants have the right to reproduce postings to this Site for personal and non-commercial purposes. 
  • Post your message or documents only to the most appropriate lists or libraries on this Site. Do not spam several lists or libraries with the same message. 
  • All messages must add to the body of knowledge. We reserve the right to reject any message for any reason.
  • No SIR member or staff may purport to speak on behalf of SIR or the SIR Foundation, on this Site without the prior written consent of the SIR President or Executive Director, respectively. 


Discussion Group Etiquette

  • Include a signature tag on all messages. Include your name, affiliation, and location.  
  • State concisely and clearly the topic of your comments in the subject line. This allows members to respond more appropriately to your posting and makes it easier for members to search the archives by subject.    
  • Include only the relevant portions of the original message in your reply. Delete any header information, and put your response before the original posting.   
  • Only send a message to the entire list when it contains information that everyone can benefit from. 
  • Send messages such as "thanks for the information" or "me too" to individuals--not to the entire list. Do this by using the "Reply to Sender" link to the left of every message.
  • Do not send administrative messages, such as “remove me from the list.” Instead, use the web interface to change your settings or to remove yourself from a list. If you are changing e-mail addresses, you do not need to remove yourself from the list and rejoin under your new e-mail address. Simply change your settings.
  • Warn other list subscribers of lengthy messages either in the subject line or at the beginning of the message body with a line that says "Long Message."

Additional Rules to Note

  • No Spam – Spamming and trolling on SIR Connect will not be allowed. This includes using the Site email and private message (PM) system to spam other members. If you receive PM spam, please email it to volunteer@sirweb.org .
  • Advertising – Do not advertise or promote any products or services via affiliate links, either on the Site’s message board or through private messaging. This includes referrals/invites to join other message boards or communities or any promotion to a website with intent to siphon traffic or make a profit.
  • No Medical Advice – Postings by participants on this Site are not intended to and should not purport to constitute medical advice.   All participants needing medical advice should seek the assistance of a qualified healthcare provider in their state.
  • No Posts About Fees Etc. – Do not discuss your fees, charges, amounts you are reimbursed by third party payors, salaries you pay your physicians and other employees, prices for medical equipment or services, or any other similar fee or price-related practice matters. You should also avoid discussions that could be interpreted as planning or facilitating joint responses to or group boycotts of particular payors or companies that sell products or services to you or your colleagues. Such discussions may implicate and/or violate federal and/or state antitrust laws. 
  • No Posting of Copyrighted Material – Do not post any materials or photos that may have copyright protection or otherwise violate the rights of third parties without permission from the copyright holder. You may include links to such materials on other websites, as long as the materials are properly/legally posted on those websites. When in doubt, do not post without first  contacting member services for approval.

 
The Legal Stuff

This Site is provided as a service for the members of the Society of Intervention Radiology (SIR) and SIR Foundation.  This Site is subject to both the rules stated above and also the “Terms of Use” and “Content, Links and Copyright” policies contained on the SIR website at https://www.sirweb.org/about-sir/terms/ and https://www.sirweb.org/about-sir/links-and-copyright/, both of which are incorporated herein by reference.

Except when specifically noted, any views or opinions expressed on  this Site and its related forums, blogs, or member-contributed resources are those of the individual contributors.  No SIR member or staff may purport to speak on behalf of SIR or the SIR Foundation, either on this Site or in any other public forum, without the prior written consent of the SIR President or Executive Director, respectively.  The views and posted comments do not necessarily reflect those of SIR and/or SIR Foundation. SIR and SIR Foundation aim to provide quality and accurate information, but we make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to on the Community site. 

Considering the real-time nature of the discussion forums, it is impossible for us to review messages or confirm the validity of information posted before it appears on the forums. SIR and SIR Foundation does not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and is not responsible for the contents of any message. We cannot ensure prompt removal of offending posts. 

In order to preserve a climate that encourages both civil and fruitful dialogue, we reserve the right to delete posts and suspend or terminate  access to this Site for anyone who violate these rules. 

SIR and SIR Foundation specifically disclaim any and all liability for any claims or damages that result from postings by participants.  Although the forums may include links providing direct access to other websites, SIR and SIR Foundation has not participated in the development of these other sites and does not exert any editorial or other control over them.  Any hypertext links and any reference to any products, services, or other information by trade name, trademark, supplier, or otherwise does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, sponsorship, or recommendation by SIR and SIR Foundation. SIR and the SIR Foundation expressly disclaim liability related to the accuracy and content of other sites and use of any products or services referenced in any posting or any linked site.

Interactions with organizations and/or individuals found on or through this Site, including payment and delivery of goods or services, and any other terms, conditions, warranties or representations associated with such dealings, are solely between the participant and such organizations and/or individuals.  Participants should make whatever investigation they feel necessary or appropriate before proceeding with any online or offline transaction with any of these third parties. 

Participants who post materials on this site (including but not limited to papers, presentations, images, and videos, etc.) shall retain their rights to such materials with the understanding that the materials are being posted for educational purposes and may be reproduced, retransmitted, or reprinted for other Site participants’ personal and non-commercial use. As noted above, participants should refrain from posting such materials unless they own the copyright or have authority or permission from the copyright holder to do so.  Such posting participants shall be wholly responsible for and shall hold SIR and SIR Foundation harmless from the inappropriate use of copyrighted material they post on this site.

SIR and SIR Foundation own all right, title, and interest in any and all materials posted on this site that have been created by SIR and SIR Foundation and are subject to copyrights owned by SIR and SIR Foundation unless indicated otherwise. SIR and SIR Foundation hereby provide limited permission for users of this Site to reproduce, retransmit, or reprint, for such user's personal use only, part or all of any document on this site. All other reproduction, retransmission, or reprinting of all or part of any document found on this Site is expressly prohibited, unless SIR or SIR Foundation has expressly granted its prior consent to so reproduce, retransmit, or reprint the material. All other rights are reserved.

Medical information published here by SIR and SIR Foundation or by any participant is for educational purposes only and is not intended to constitute medical advice, nor does it replace consultation with a qualified health care provider. Please consult an appropriate health care provider for such guidance. SIR and SIR Foundation do not answer specific medical questions or refer persons to specific health care providers.

All information collected from SIR and SIR Foundation members will be used solely for membership purposes and will not be disclosed to third-parties without the express written consent from the member.

SIR Antirust Policy

SIR is a nonprofit, national scientific organization committed to its mission of improving health and quality of life through the practice of interventional radiology.  SIR is organized to promote education, research and communication in the field of interventional radiology while providing strong leadership in the development of health care policy.
SIR has a strict policy of compliance with federal and antitrust laws.  The antitrust laws of the United States prohibit agreements, combinations and conspiracies that restrain trade among competitors. SIR members may be considered to be competitors for purposes of antitrust challenges even if their practices are not in the same geographic areas.  The penalties for violations of the antitrust laws are severe for medical societies and their members.
In all SIR activities, each member, as well as SIR staff, shall be responsible for following the association’s policy of strict compliance with the antitrust laws.  The SIR officers and committee chairs shall ensure that this policy is known and adhered to in the course of activities pursued under their leadership.  Antitrust compliance is the responsibility of every SIR member and SIR staff.


General Antitrust Compliance Principles
SIR will not become involved in the competitive business decision of its individual members, nor will it take any action that would tend to restrain competition. SIR is firmly committed to the principle of competition served by the antitrust laws, and good business judgment demands that every effort be made to assure compliance with all applicable federal and state antitrust laws and trade regulations.
SIR members in separate practices cannot come to understandings, make agreements, or otherwise concur on positions or activities that in any way tend to raise, lower, or stabilize prices or fees, allocate or divide up markets, or encourage or facilitate boycotts. Individual SIR members must make decisions regarding the amounts they charge for their services and other terms of dealing with patients, vendors, and third party payors on their own and without consultation with their competitors or SIR.

The antitrust laws are complicated and often unclear. If any member is concerned about being in a “gray area,” the member should consult with an antitrust attorney. If the conversation among competitors at a SIR meeting or on this Site turns to antitrust-sensitive issues, participants should discontinue the conversation until legal advice is obtained or leave the meeting or this Site immediately. 

Discussions of pricing or boycotts as part of SIR-scheduled programs, at SIR-sponsored meetings or on this Site could implicate and involve the SIR in extensive and expensive antitrust challenges and litigation. In addition, the U.S. Supreme Court has determined that an association can be held liable for statements or actions in antitrust-sensitive areas by volunteer leaders who claim to speak for the association, even if they are not authorized to speak in that area. Directors and officers of SIR must, therefore, make clear whether they are speaking in their official capacity when they address such issues; by contrast, if they are making personal remarks outside of an SIR setting, the speaker should clearly state that he or she is speaking for him or herself, and not on behalf of the SIR.  No SIR member, including SIR Board members, may purport to speak on behalf of SIR without the prior written consent of the SIR President or Executive Director.

To assist the SIR staff, officers, directors and committee chairs in recognizing situations that may give the appearance of an antitrust concern, the Executive Council shall provide to each such person copies of this antitrust compliance statement. In addition, this statement shall be referenced at the start of any meeting where SIR business will be discussed, and this action will be noted in the minutes of the meeting. 

Any violation of the antitrust policy will be brought to the attention of the Executive Council, and the Council will deal with it in a timely and appropriate manner. The Executive Council will consult with legal counsel when questions arise as to the manner in which the antitrust laws may apply to the activities of SIR.



Specific Rules of Antitrust Compliance
1.    SIR activities shall not be used for the purpose of bringing about, or attempting to bring about, any understanding or agreement, written or oral, formal or informal, expressed or implied, among competitors with regard to prices or fees, terms or conditions of sale, discounts, territories or customers. For example, any agreement by competitors to “honor,” “protect,” or “avoid invading” one another’s geographic areas, practice specialties, or patient lists would violate the law. 
2.    SIR activities and communications shall not include discussion or actions, for any purpose or in any fashion, of prices or pricing methods or other limitations on either the timing of services or the allocation of territories or markets or customers in any way. For example, SIR members cannot come to understandings, make agreements, or otherwise concur on positions or activities that are directed at fixing prices, fees, or reimbursement levels. Likewise, SIR members cannot collectively make agreements as to whether they will or will not enter into contracts with certain managed care plans. Even if no formal agreements are reached on such matters, discussions of prices, group boycotts, or market allocations followed by parallel conduct in the marketplace can lead to antitrust scrutiny or challenges. Members may, however, consult with each other and freely discuss the scientific and clinical aspects of the practice of medicine. 
3.    SIR shall not undertake any activity that involves exchange or collection and dissemination among competitors of any information regarding prices, pricing methods, cost of services or labor, or sales or distribution without first obtaining the advice of legal counsel, when questions arise as to the proper and lawful methods by which these activities may be pursued. For example, caution should be exercised in collecting data on usual and customary fees, managed care reimbursement levels, workforce statistics, and job market opportunities. While the mere collection of data on such matters is permissible if certain conditions are met, antitrust concerns may arise if the data become the basis for collective action. 


In general, SIR activities and communications shall not include any discussion or action that may be construed as an attempt to: (1) raise, lower, or stabilize prices; (2) allocate markets or territories; (3) prevent any person or business entity from gaining access to any market or to any customer for goods or services; (4) prevent or boycott any person or business entity, including managed care organizations or other third party payors, from obtaining services freely in the market; (5) foster unfair trade practices; (6) assist in monopolization; or attempts to monopolize; or (7) in any way violate applicable federal or state antitrust laws and trade regulations. The actual purpose and intent of SIR’s policies and programs are important in this regard. They cannot be aimed at accomplishing anti-competitive objectives.

If you see what you believe is a violation of these rules in any of the SIR Connect forums, please notify SIR staff immediately by e-mailing volunteer@sirweb.org.