2016 Hawaii Revised Statutes
TITLE 36. CIVIL REMEDIES AND DEFENSES AND SPECIAL PROCEEDINGS
671. Medical Torts
671-13 Medical inquiry and conciliation panel proceedings; voluntary settlement.
§671-13 Medical inquiry and conciliation panel proceedings; voluntary settlement. [(a)] Every inquiry regarding a medical tort shall be processed by the medical inquiry and conciliation panel within thirty days after the last date for filing a response. No persons other than the panel, witnesses, and consultants called by the panel, and the persons listed in section 671-14 shall be present except with the permission of the chairperson. The panel may, in its discretion, conduct an inquiry of a party, witness, or consultant without the presence of any or all parties.
[(b)] The proceedings shall be informal. Chapters 91 and 92 shall not apply. The panel may require a stenographic record of all or part of its proceedings for the use of the panel, but the record shall not be made available to the parties. The panel may receive any oral or documentary evidence. The panel shall conduct proceedings in a manner appropriate to the circumstances of the inquiry and to facilitate resolution of the matter. The panel shall conduct proceedings in a non-adversarial manner consistent with the primary purpose of conciliation.
[(c)] The panel shall have the power to require by subpoena the appearance and testimony of witnesses and the production of documentary evidence. When the subpoena power is utilized, notice shall be given to all parties. The testimony of witnesses may be taken either orally before the panel or by deposition. In cases of refusal to obey a subpoena issued by the panel, the panel may invoke the aid of any circuit court in the State, which may issue an order requiring compliance with the subpoena. Failure to obey an order may be punished by the court as a contempt thereof. Any member of the panel, the director of commerce and consumer affairs, or any person designated by the director may sign subpoenas. Any member of the panel may administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses, and receive evidence. Notwithstanding these powers, the panel shall attempt to secure the voluntary appearance, testimony, and cooperation of parties, witnesses, and consultants without coercion.
[(d)] At panel proceedings and to assist its conciliation role, the panel may consider, but not be limited to, statements or testimony of witnesses, hospital and medical records, nurses' notes, x-rays, and other records kept in the usual course of the practice of the health care provider without the necessity for other identification or authentication, statement of fact, or opinion on a subject contained in a published treatise, periodical, book, or pamphlet, or statements of experts without the necessity of the experts appearing at the proceeding. The panel may upon the application of any party or upon its own decision appoint as a consultant, an impartial and qualified physician, surgeon, physician and surgeon, or other professional person or expert to testify before the panel or to conduct any necessary professional or expert examination of the party initiating the inquiry or relevant evidentiary matter and to report to or testify as a witness thereto. The consultant shall not be compensated or reimbursed except for travel and living expenses to be paid as provided in section 671-11. Except for the production of hospital and medical records, nurses' notes, x-rays, and other records kept in the usual course of the practice of the health care provider, discovery by the parties shall not be allowed.
[(e)] During the proceedings or at any time before termination, the panel may encourage the parties to settle or otherwise dispose of the inquiry voluntarily. [L 1976, c 219, pt of §2; am L 1979, c 80, §2; am L 1983, c 223, §5; am L 1988, c 132, §1; am L 1989, c 245, §2; am L 2012, c 296, pt of §4]
Only members of a medical claim conciliation panel are authorized to sign subpoenas and only the panel can seek assistance of the circuit court for compliance with such subpoenas. 69 H. 419, 744 P.2d 1205 (1987).
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