State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_90 > GS_90-16

§ 90‑16.  Self‑reportingrequirements; confidentiality of Board investigative information; cooperationwith law enforcement; patient protection; Board to keep public records.

(a)        The North CarolinaMedical Board shall keep a regular record of its proceedings with the names ofthe members of the Board present, the names of the applicants for license, andother information as to its actions. The North Carolina Medical Board shallpublish the names of those licensed within 30 days after granting the license.

(b)        The Board may in aclosed session receive evidence involving or concerning the treatment of apatient who has not expressly or impliedly consented to the public disclosureof such treatment as may be necessary for the protection of the rights of suchpatient or of the accused physician and the full presentation of relevantevidence.

(c)        All records,papers, investigative files, investigative reports, other investigativeinformation and other documents containing information in the possession of orreceived or gathered by the Board, or its members or employees or consultantsas a result of investigations,  inquiries, assessments, or interviews conductedin connection with a licensing, complaint, assessment, potential impairmentmatter, disciplinary matter, or report of professional liability insuranceawards or settlements pursuant to G.S. 90‑14.13, shall not be consideredpublic records within the meaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes andare privileged, confidential, and not subject to discovery, subpoena, or othermeans of legal compulsion for release to any person other than the Board, itsemployees or consultants involved in the application for license, impairmentassessment, or discipline of a license holder, except as provided in subsections(d) and (e1) of this section. For purposes of this subsection, investigativeinformation includes information relating to the identity of, and a report madeby, a physician or other person performing an expert review for the Board andtranscripts of any deposition taken by Board counsel in preparation for oranticipation of a hearing held pursuant to this Article but not admitted intoevidence at the hearing.

(d)        The Board shallprovide the licensee or applicant with access to all information in its possessionthat the Board intends to offer into evidence in presenting its case in chiefat the contested hearing on the matter, subject to any privilege or restrictionset forth by rule, statute, or legal precedent, upon written request from alicensee or applicant who is the subject of a complaint or investigation, orfrom the licensee's or applicant's counsel, unless good cause is shown fordelay. The Board is not required to provide any of the following:

(1)        A Boardinvestigative report.

(2)        The identity of a non‑testifyingcomplainant.

(3)        Attorney‑clientcommunications, attorney work product, or other materials covered by aprivilege recognized by the Rules of Civil Procedure or the Rules of Evidence.

(e)        Informationfurnished to a licensee or applicant, or counsel for a licensee or applicant,under subsection (d) of this section shall be subject to discovery or subpoenabetween and among the parties in a civil case in which the licensee is a party.

(e1)      When the Boardreceives a complaint regarding the care of a patient, the Board shall providethe licensee with a copy of the complaint as soon as practical and inform thecomplainant of the disposition of the Board's inquiry into the complaint andthe Board's basis for that disposition. If providing a copy of the complaintidentifies an anonymous complainant or compromises the integrity of aninvestigation, the Board shall provide the licensee with a summary of allsubstantial elements of the complaint. Upon written request of a patient, theBoard may provide the patient a licensee's written response to a complaintfiled by the patient with the Board regarding the patient's care. Upon writtenrequest of a complainant, who is not the patient but is authorized by State andfederal law to receive protected health information about the patient, theBoard may provide the complainant a licensee's written response to a complaintfiled with the Board regarding the patient's care. Any information furnished tothe patient or complainant pursuant to this subsection shall be inadmissible inevidence in any civil proceeding. However, information, documents, or recordsotherwise available are not immune from discovery or use in a civil actionmerely because they were included in the Board's review or were the subject ofinformation furnished to the patient or complainant pursuant to thissubsection.

(f)         Any notice orstatement of charges against any licensee, or any notice to any licensee of ahearing in any proceeding shall be a public record within the meaning ofChapter 132 of the General Statutes, notwithstanding that it may containinformation collected and compiled as a result of any such investigation,inquiry or interview; and provided, further, that if any such record, paper orother document containing information theretofore collected and compiled by theBoard, as hereinbefore provided, is received and admitted in evidence in anyhearing before the Board, it shall thereupon be a public record within themeaning of Chapter 132 of the General Statutes.

(g)        In any proceedingbefore the Board, in any record of any hearing before the Board, and in thenotice of the charges against any licensee (notwithstanding any provisionherein to the contrary) the Board may withhold from public disclosure theidentity of a patient who has not expressly or impliedly consented to thepublic disclosure of treatment by the accused physician.

(h)        If investigativeinformation in the possession of the Board, its employees, or agents indicatesthat a crime may have been committed, the Board may report the information tothe appropriate law enforcement agency or district attorney of the district inwhich the offense was committed.

(i)         The Board shallcooperate with and assist a law enforcement agency or district attorneyconducting a criminal investigation or prosecution of a licensee by providinginformation that is relevant to the criminal investigation or prosecution tothe investigating agency or district attorney. Information disclosed by theBoard to an investigative agency or district attorney remains confidential andmay not be disclosed by the investigating agency except as necessary to furtherthe investigation.

(j)         All personslicensed under this Article shall self‑report to the Board within 30 daysof arrest or indictment any of the following:

(1)        Any felony arrest orindictment.

(2)        Any arrest fordriving while impaired or driving under the influence.

(3)        Any arrest orindictment for the possession, use, or sale of any controlled substance.

(k)        The Board, itsmembers and staff, may release confidential or nonpublic information to anyhealth care licensure board in this State or another state or authorizedDepartment of Health and Human Services personnel with enforcement orinvestigative responsibilities about the issuance, denial, annulment,suspension, or revocation of a license, or the voluntary surrender of a licenseby a licensee of the Board, including the reasons for the action, or aninvestigative report made by the Board. The Board shall notify the licenseewithin 60 days after the information is transmitted. A summary of theinformation that is being transmitted shall be furnished to the licensee. Ifthe licensee requests in writing within 30 days after being notified that theinformation has been transmitted, the licensee shall be furnished a copy of allinformation so transmitted. The notice or copies of the information shall notbe provided if the information relates to an ongoing criminal investigation byany law enforcement agency or authorized Department of Health and Human Servicespersonnel with enforcement or investigative responsibilities.  (1858‑9, c. 258, s.12; Code, s. 3129; Rev., s. 4500; C.S., s. 6620; 1921, c. 47, s. 6; 1977, c.838, s. 5; 1993 (Reg. Sess., 1994), c. 570, s. 6; 1995, c. 94, s. 17; 1997‑481,s. 4; 2006‑144, s. 7; 2007‑346, s. 22; 2009‑363, s. 4; 2009‑558,s. 6.)