Businesses and Professions

Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline

SECTION 5-37-9

§ 5-37-9. Reports relating to professional conduct and capacity – Regulations – Confidentiality – Immunity.

In addition to the requirements of § 42-14-2.1:

(1) The board, with the approval of the director, may adopt regulations requiring any person, including, but not limited to, corporations, health care facilities, health maintenance organizations, organizations, federal, state, or local governmental agencies, and peer review boards to report to the board any conviction, determination, or finding that a licensed physician has committed unprofessional conduct as defined by § 5-37-5.1, or to report information which indicates that a licensed physician may not be able to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patients as the result of any mental or physical condition. The regulations shall include the reporting requirements of paragraphs (2)(i), (ii) and (iii) of this section.

(2) The following reports, in writing, shall be filed with the board:

(i) Every insurer providing professional liability insurance to a physician licensed under the provisions of this chapter shall send a complete report to the board presenting notice of any civil action filed, settlement of any claim or cause of action, or final judgment rendered in any cause of action for damages for death or personal injury caused by the physician's negligence, error, or omission in practice, or his or her rendering of unauthorized professional services. This report shall be sent within thirty (30) days after notice of any civil action filed, settlement, judgment, or arbitration award. All of these reports shall present an in-depth factual summary of the claim in question. Commencing July 1, 1997, all reports of final judgments or settlements shall specify the class or category of risk for which the physician is insured identified by Insurance Services Organization ("ISO") Code and, in the case of joint and several liability, shall specify the portion of the total award paid by or on behalf of the physician.

(ii) All hospital and licensed health care facilities including, but not limited to, nursing homes and health maintenance organizations and the director of health must report to the board within thirty (30) days of this action, any action, disciplinary or otherwise, taken for any reason, which limits, suspends or revokes a physician's privilege to practice or requires supervision of a physician, either through formal action by the institution or facility or through any voluntary agreement with the physician.

(iii) Within ten (10) days after a judgment by a court of this state that a physician licensed under the provisions of this chapter has been convicted of a crime or is civilly liable for any death or personal injury caused by his or her negligence, error, or omission in his or her practice, or his or her rendering unauthorized professional services, the clerk of the court which rendered this judgment shall report the judgment to the board.

(3) The board shall publicly report any change of privilege, of which it is aware, to the board of trustees or other appropriate body of all licensed hospitals, licensed health care facilities, health maintenance organizations, and other parties, as the board deems appropriate, within thirty (30) days. Except as required by § 5-37-9.2 notwithstanding the provisions of this subdivision, the board may, in instances where the change of privilege is not related to quality of patient care, elect not to disseminate the report of change in privilege. This election may be made in executive session and no decision not to disseminate shall be made except by majority vote of the members present at the meeting and only upon a finding of fact by the board after inquiry that the change of privilege was not related to quality of patient care.

(4) Except as provided in § 5-37-9.2, the contents of any report file shall be confidential and exempt from public disclosure, except that it may be reviewed:

(i) By the licensee involved or his or her counsel or authorized representative who may submit any additional exculpatory or explanatory statements or other information, which statements or other information is included in the file, or

(ii) By the chief administrative officer, a representative of the board, or investigator of the board, who has been assigned to review the activities of a licensed physician.

(5) Upon determination that a report is without merit, the board's records may be purged of information relating to the report.

(6) If any person refuses to furnish a required report, the board may petition the superior court of any county in which the person resides or is found, and the court shall issue to this person an order to furnish the required report. Any failure to comply with this order constitutes civil contempt.

(7) Every individual, medical association, medical society, hospital, health care facility, health maintenance organization, peer review board, medical service bureau, health insurance carrier or agent, professional standards review organization, and agency of the federal, state, or local government is immune from civil liability, whether direct or derivative, for providing information in good faith to the board pursuant to this section or the regulations outlined in subdivision (1) of this section or requirements of subdivision (2) of this section.

(8) Nondisclosure agreements are prohibited in so far as they forbid parties from making reports regarding competency and/or unprofessional conduct to the board of medical licensure and discipline.

(9) The board, with the approval of the director, shall promulgate rules and regulations prescribing standards for hospital or health maintenance organization supervision of physicians by peer review committees. These regulations require that each hospital or health maintenance organization report annually to the board the activities, findings, studies, and determinations of its peer review committees.

History of Section.
(P.L. 1986, ch. 301, § 6; P.L. 1987, ch. 522, § 9; P.L. 1997, ch. 30, art. 28, § 3; P.L. 1997, ch. 348, § 2; P.L. 1998, ch. 449, § 1.)