State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > North-carolina > Chapter_90 > GS_90-21_22

Article 1D.

Peer Review.

§ 90‑21.22.  Peer reviewagreements.

(a)        The North CarolinaMedical Board may, under rules adopted by the Board in compliance with Chapter150B of the General Statutes, enter into agreements with the North CarolinaMedical Society and its local medical society components, and with the NorthCarolina Academy of Physician Assistants for the purpose of conducting peerreview activities. Peer review activities to be covered by such agreementsshall include investigation, review, and evaluation of records, reports,complaints, litigation and other information about the practices and practicepatterns of physicians licensed by the Board, and of physician assistantsapproved by the Board, and shall include programs for impaired physicians andimpaired physician assistants. Agreements between the Academy and the Boardshall be limited to programs for impaired physicians and physician assistantsand shall not include any other peer review activities.

(b)        Peer reviewagreements shall include provisions for the society and for the Academy toreceive relevant information from the Board and other sources, conduct theinvestigation and review in an expeditious manner, provide assurance ofconfidentiality of nonpublic information and of the review process, makereports of investigations and evaluations to the Board, and to do other relatedactivities for promoting a coordinated and effective peer review process. Peerreview agreements shall include provisions assuring due process.

(c)        Each society whichenters a peer review agreement with the Board shall establish and maintain aprogram for impaired physicians licensed by the Board. The Academy, afterentering a peer review agreement with the Board, shall either enter anagreement with the North Carolina Medical Society for the inclusion ofphysician assistants in the Society's program for impaired physicians, or shallestablish and maintain the Academy's own program for impaired physicianassistants. The purpose of the programs shall be to identify, review, andevaluate the ability of those physicians and physician assistants to functionin their professional capacity and to provide programs for treatment andrehabilitation. The Board may provide funds for the administration of impairedphysician and impaired physician assistant programs and shall adopt rules withprovisions for definitions of impairment; guidelines for program elements;procedures for receipt and use of information of suspected impairment;procedures for intervention and referral; monitoring treatment, rehabilitation,post‑treatment support and performance; reports of individual cases tothe Board; periodic reporting of statistical information; assurance ofconfidentiality of nonpublic information and of the review process.

(d)        Upon investigationand review of a physician licensed by the Board, or a physician assistantapproved by the Board, or upon receipt of a complaint or other information, asociety which enters a peer review agreement with the Board, or the Academy ifit has a peer review agreement with the Board, as appropriate, shall reportimmediately to the Board detailed information about any physician or physicianassistant licensed or approved by the Board if:

(1)        The physician orphysician assistant constitutes an imminent danger to the public or to himselfby reason of impairment, mental illness, physical illness, the commission ofprofessional sexual boundary violations, or any other reason;

(2)        The physician orphysician assistant refuses to cooperate with the program, refuses to submit totreatment, or is still impaired after treatment and exhibits professionalincompetence; or

(3)        It reasonablyappears that there are other grounds for disciplinary action.

(e)        Any confidentialpatient information and other nonpublic information acquired, created, or usedin good faith by the Academy or a society pursuant to this section shall remainconfidential and shall not be subject to discovery or subpoena in a civil case.No person participating in good faith in the peer review or impaired physicianor impaired physician assistant programs of this section shall be required in acivil case to disclose any information acquired or opinions, recommendations,or evaluations acquired or developed solely in the course of participating inany agreements pursuant to this section.

(f)         Peer reviewactivities conducted in good faith pursuant to any agreement under this sectionshall not be grounds for civil action under the laws of this State and aredeemed to be State directed and sanctioned and shall constitute State actionfor the purposes of application of antitrust laws. (1987, c. 859, s. 15; 1993,c. 176, s. 1; 1995, c. 94, s. 23; 2006‑144, s. 8.)