Bill Summaries: H543 (2015-2016 Session)

  • Summary date: Apr 21 2015 - View summary

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 2nd edition.

    Amends GS 90-14.2(c) to specify that the investigative information that the NC Medical Board is to provide is only provided pursuant to a written request by the respondent or the respondent's counsel and exempts attorney work product from that information. 

    Makes technical changes.

  • Summary date: Apr 15 2015 - View summary

    House committee substitute makes the following changes to the 1st edition.

    Deletes Section 13 of the act, which recodified GS 90-21.22A as GS 90-21.22B under Article 1D of GS Chapter 90, and renumbers the remaining sections of the act accordingly.

    Deletes new section GS 90-21.22A, Health Program for Medical Professionals, enacted in the 1st edition of this act. Instead, amends GS 90-21.22, renaming the statute as Health program for medical professionals (was, Peer review agreements). Amends subsection (a) of GS 90-21.22 to provide that the North Carolina Medical Board (Board) may enter into agreements with the North Carolina Medical Society (Society), the North Carolina Academy of Physician Assistants (Academy), and the North Carolina Physicians Health Program (Program) to identify, review, and evaluate the ability of persons licensed by the Board and referred to the Program to function in their professional capacity and to coordinate regimens for treatment and rehabilitation. Deletes provisions specifying peer review activities to be covered by this type of agreement.

    Requires the agreement to include guidelines for (1) the assessment, referral, monitoring, support, and education of licensees of the Board by reason of a physical or mental illness, a substance use disorder, or professional sexual misconduct; (2) procedures for the Board to refer licensees to the Program; (3) criteria for the Program to report licensees to the Board; (4) a procedure for licensees to obtain review of recommendations by the Program regarding assessment or treatment; (5) periodic reporting of statistical information by the Program to the Board, the Society, and the Academy; and (6) maintaining the confidentiality of nonpublic information.

    Describes the Program as an independent organization for medical professionals that provides screening, referral, monitoring, educational, and support services. Provides that the Board, Society, and Academy may provide funds for the administration of the Program.

    Requires the Program to report immediately to the Board detailed information about any licensee of the Board who meets specified criteria including: constitutes an imminent danger to patient care (was, to the public or him- or herself) by reason of mental or physical illness, substance use disorder, professional sexual misconduct (was, sexual boundary violations) or any other reason.

    Makes a conforming change, deleting the repeal of GS 90-21.22, now amended in this act.

  • Summary date: Apr 6 2015 - View summary

    Amends GS 90-2(b) concerning the NC Medical Board (Board), providing that no member can serve more than two complete consecutive three-year terms in a lifetime (previously did not limit it to a lifetime). Amends GS 90-3(b) adding language that provides that you cannot have served more than 72 months as a member of the Board as criteria for serving on the Board. Amends GS 90-3(c), making technical changes.

    Adds new subsections to GS 90-3, concerning the Review Panel recommending certain Board members, providing that the Board can provide the Review Panel with confidential and nonpublic licensing and investigative information it possesses. Provides that the information the Review Panel receives or gathers is not a public record but rather is privileged, confidential, and not subject to discovery or other legal means of compulsory release. Requires the Review Panel to publish specified information concerning the nominees to the Board. Establishes that the Review Panel is a public body within the meaning of GS Chapter 143, Article 33C, authorized to conduct business as specified.

    Amends GS 90-5.2 concerning the collecting and publishing of data collected by the Board, making technical and clarifying changes. 

    Amends GS 90-8.1, concerning the rules for licensure, providing that the Board cannot deny an application for licensure based solely on the applicant's failure to become board-certified. Makes technical changes. 

    Amends GS 90-13.1(a), changing the application fee to be licensed to practice medicine and surgery in North Carolina to $400 (was, $350).

    Amends GS 90-13.3, concerning specified registration fees, requiring all individuals licensed to practice medicine in North Carolina to register with the Board and pay a $250 registration fee (was, $175). Provides that those that have a retired limited volunteer license, pursuant to GS 90-12.1B, are not required to pay an annual registration fee (previously, were required to pay a $25 fee). Deletes language which provided that inactive physicians in North Carolina could direct the Board to place their licenses on inactive status. Makes technical and conforming changes. 

    Amends GS 90-14(n) concerning disciplinary proceedings, making technical and clarifying changes, deleting language which only allowed service of process to both the licensee and counsel if the licensee retained counsel before the Board made a nonpublic determination to initiate disciplinary proceedings. 

    Enacts new GS 90-14.2(c) concerning discovery in disciplinary hearings, providing that the parties can engage in discovery once charges have been issued. Further provides that the Board must provide the respondent or counsel all the exculpatory evidence in its possession except for information subject to attorney-client privilege; information that would identify an anonymous complainant; and information related to advisory opinions, recommendations, or deliberations by the Board or associated staff.

    Amends GS 90-14.13(a1)(1) deleting language which provided an exception to the prohibition on hospitals reporting the suspension or limitation of a physician's privileges for failure to timely complete medical records.

    Recodifies GS 90-21.22A (Medical review and quality assurance committees)  as GS 90-21.22B.

    Renames GS Chapter 90, Article 1D, as Health Program for Medical Professionals (was, Peer Review).

    Enacts new GS 90-21.22A, Health Program for Medical Professionals, providing that the Board is authorized to enter into agreements with the NC Medical Society, the NC Academy of Physician Assistants, and the NC Physicians Health Program in order to identify, review, and evaluate the ability of licensees of the Board referred to the NC Physicians Health Program to function in their professional capacity, as well as to coordinate regimens for treatment and rehabilitation. Sets out guidelines for the agreement requiring the agreement to include procedures for the Board to refer licensees to the NC Physicians Health Program as well as the maintenance of confidential nonpublic information. Sets out criteria that if met the NC Physicians Health Program is required to immediately report to the Board detailed information about certain licensees, including that such licensees refuse to submit to an assessment as ordered by the Board or they are still unsafe to practice medicine after treatment. 

    Sets out provisions governing the confidentiality of any information received or created by the NC Physicians Health Program, maintaining that such records are privileged, confidential, and not subject to the specified methods of legal compulsion. Sets out provisions concerning the licensee's ability to receive copies of written assessments. Provides for civil protection for activities conducted in good faith. Authorizes the Board to adopt or amend rules as necessary to enforce the above provisions. 

    Repeals GS 90-16(d) (concerning the access of specified information to a licensee) and GS 90-21.22 (Peer review agreements). 

    Effective October 1, 2015.