State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_131E > GS_131E-97_3

§ 131E‑97.3. Confidentiality of competitive health care information.

(a)        For the purposes ofthis section, competitive health care information means information relating tocompetitive health care activities by or on behalf of hospitals and publichospital authorities. Competitive health care information shall be confidentialand not a public record under Chapter 132 of the General Statutes; providedthat any contract entered into by or on behalf of a public hospital or publichospital authority, as defined in G.S. 159‑39, shall be a public recordunless otherwise exempted by law, or the contract contains competitive healthcare information, the determination of which shall be as provided in subsection(b) of this section.

(b)        If a publichospital or public hospital authority is requested to disclose any contractwhich the hospital or hospital authority believes in good faith contains orconstitutes competitive health care information, the hospital or hospitalauthority may either redact the portions of the contract believed to constitutecompetitive health care information prior to disclosure, or if the entirecontract constitutes competitive health care information, refuse disclosure ofthe contract. The person requesting disclosure of the contract may institute anaction pursuant to G.S. 132‑9 to compel disclosure of the contract or anyredacted portion thereof. In any action brought under this subsection, theissue for decision by the court shall be whether the contract, or portions ofthe contract withheld, constitutes competitive health care information, and inmaking its determination, the court shall be guided by the procedures andstandards applicable to protective orders requested under Rule 26(c)(7) of theRules of Civil Procedure. For the purposes of this section, competitive healthcare information includes, but is not limited to, contracts entered into by oron behalf of a public hospital or public hospital authority to purchase amedical practice. Before rendering a decision, the court shall review thecontract in camera and hear arguments from the parties. If the court finds thatthe contract constitutes or contains competitive health care information, thecourt may either deny disclosure or may make such other appropriate orders asare permitted under Rule 26(c) of the Rules of Civil Procedure.

(c)        Nothing in thissection shall be deemed to prevent an elected public body, in closed session,which has responsibility for the hospital, the Attorney General, or the StateAuditor from having access to this confidential information. The disclosure toany public entity does not affect the confidentiality of the information.Members of the public entity shall have a duty not to further disclose theconfidential information. (1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 570, s. 10; 2001‑516,s. 5; 2007‑508, s. 8.5.)