REPEALING THE PROHIBITION OF DISCOVERY IN CIVIL ACTIONS OF INFORMATION OBTAINED IN PEER REVIEW PROCEEDINGS.
Amends GS 131E-95(b) (pertaining to medical review committees) to provide as title indicates. Clarifies that the proceedings of a medical review committee and the records and materials the committee produces and considers are not public records, but are subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil action as indicated. Provides that a person in attendance at a committee meeting may be required to testify in any civil action as to any evidence or other matters (current law prohibits a person from testifying) produced or presented during the meeting or as to any action of the committee or committee members whenever the patient whose care is a subject of the committee’s consideration consents to that person’s testimony. Adds that any confidential patient information acquired or used in good faith by the committee will remain confidential when the patient does not consent to disclosure, and will not be subject to discovery or subpoena in a civil action without the patient’s written consent. Clarifies that a committee member or a person who testifies before the committee may testify in a civil action and may be asked about the person’s testimony from the committee meeting (current law prohibits asking about the person’s testimony) or any opinions formed after committee hearings, other than testimony or opinions that would reveal confidential patient information without patient consent. Enacts new subsection (b1), stating that a patient who requests information related to the patient’s own medical treatment that was the subject of evaluation and review has the right to receive such information from the committee and to use the information in any civil proceeding without restriction. Applies to civil actions commenced on or after the date the act becomes law.
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