State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_90 > GS_90-187_15

§ 90‑187.15.  Board agreement for programs forimpaired veterinary personnel.

(a)        The Board may enter into agreements with organizations thathave developed programs for impaired veterinary personnel. Activities to becovered by these agreements may include investigation, review, and evaluationof records, reports, complaints, litigation, and other information about thepractices or the practice patterns of veterinary personnel licensed orregistered by the Board as these matters may relate to impaired veterinarypersonnel. Organizations having programs for impaired veterinary personnel mayinclude a statewide supervisory committee or various regional or localcomponents or subgroups.

(b)        Agreements authorized under this section shall includeprovisions for the impaired veterinary personnel organizations to: (i) receiverelevant information from the Board and other sources; (ii) conduct anyinvestigation, review, or evaluation in an expeditious manner; (iii) provideassurance of confidentiality of nonpublic information and of the process; (iv)make reports of investigations and evaluations to the Board; and (v) implementany other related activities for operating and promoting a coordinated andeffective process. The agreement shall include provisions assuring basic dueprocess for veterinary personnel who become involved.

(c)        Organizations entering into agreements with the Board shallestablish and maintain a program for impaired veterinary personnel licensed orregistered by the Board for the purpose of identifying, reviewing, andevaluating the ability of those veterinarians or veterinary technicians tofunction as veterinarians or veterinary technicians and provide programs fortreatment and rehabilitation. The Board may provide funds for the administrationof these impaired veterinary personnel peer review programs. The Board mayadopt rules pursuant to Chapter 150B of the General Statutes to apply to theoperation of impaired veterinary personnel programs, with provisions for: (i)definitions of impairment; (ii) guidelines for program elements; (iii)procedures for receipt and use of information of suspected impairment; (iv)procedures for intervention and referral; (v) arrangements for monitoringtreatment, rehabilitation, posttreatment support, and performance; (vi) reportsof individual cases to the Board; (vii) periodic reporting of statisticalinformation; (viii) assurance of confidentiality of nonpublic information andof the process; and (ix) other necessary measures.

(d)        Upon investigation and review of a veterinarian licensed bythe Board or a veterinary technician registered with the Board, or upon receiptof a complaint or other information, an impaired veterinary personnelorganization that enters into an agreement with the Board shall report to theBoard detailed information about any veterinarian licensed or veterinarytechnician registered by the Board if:

(1)        The veterinarian or veterinary technician constitutes animminent danger to the public, to patients, or to himself or herself.

(2)        The veterinarian or veterinary technician refuses tocooperate with the program, refuses to submit to treatment, or is stillimpaired after treatment and exhibits professional incompetence.

(3)        It reasonably appears that there are other grounds fordisciplinary action.

(e)        Any confidential information or other nonpublic informationacquired, created, or used in good faith by an impaired veterinary personnelorganization or the Board regarding a participant pursuant to this sectionshall remain confidential and shall not be subject to discovery or subpoena ina civil case, nor subject to disclosure as a public document by the Boardpursuant to Chapter 132 of the General Statutes. No person participating ingood faith in an impaired veterinary personnel program developed under thissection shall be required in a civil case to disclose any information,including opinions, recommendations, or evaluations, acquired or developedsolely in the course of participating in the program.

(f)         Impaired veterinary personnel activities conducted in goodfaith pursuant to any program developed under this section shall not be groundsfor civil action under the laws of this State, and the activities are deemed tobe State‑directed and sanctioned and shall constitute "Stateaction" for the purposes of application of antitrust laws. (2003‑139, s. 1.)