State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_131E > GS_131E-150

§ 131E‑150. Inspections.

(a)        The Department shall make or cause to be made inspections ofambulatory surgical facilities as necessary. The Department is authorized todelegate to a State officer, agent, board, bureau or division of Stategovernment the authority to make inspections according to the rules adopted bythe Commission. The Department may revoke this delegated authority in itsdiscretion.

(b)        Notwithstanding the provisions of G.S. 8‑53,"Communications between physician and patient," or any otherprovision of law relating to the confidentiality of communications betweenphysician and patient, the representatives of the Department who make theseinspections may review any writing or other record in any recording mediumwhich pertains to the admission, discharge, medication, treatment, medicalcondition, or history of persons who are or have been patients of the facilitybeing inspected unless that patient objects in writing to review of thatpatient's records. Physicians, psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses, and anyoneelse involved in giving treatment at or through a facility who may beinterviewed by representatives of the Department may disclose to theserepresentatives information related to an inquiry, notwithstanding theexistence of the physician‑patient privilege in G.S. 8‑53,"Communication between physician and patient," or any other rule oflaw; Provided the patient has not made written objection to this disclosure.The facility, its employees, and any person interviewed during these inspectionsshall be immune from liability for damages resulting from the disclosure of anyinformation to the Department. Any confidential or privileged informationreceived from review of records or interviews shall be kept confidential by theDepartment and not disclosed without written authorization of the patient orlegal representative, or unless disclosure is ordered by a court of competentjurisdiction. The Department shall institute appropriate policies andprocedures to ensure that this information shall not be disclosed withoutauthorization or court order. The Department shall not disclose the name ofanyone who has furnished information concerning a facility without the consentof that person. Neither the names of persons furnishing information nor anyconfidential or privileged information obtained from records or interviewsshall be considered "public records" within the meaning of G.S. 132‑1,"'Public records' defined." Prior to releasing any information orallowing any inspections referred to in this section, the patient must beadvised in writing by the facility that the patient has the right to object inwriting to this release of information or review of the records and that byobjecting in writing, the patient may prohibit the inspection or release of therecords. (1977, 2nd Sess.,c. 1214, s. 1; 1981, c. 586, s. 5; 1983, c. 775, s. 1.)