2017 Louisiana Laws
Revised Statutes
TITLE 13 - Courts and Judicial Procedure
RS 13:3715.6 - Records of a nonprofit health care quality improvement corporation; testimony; confidentiality

§3715.6. Records of a nonprofit health care quality improvement corporation; testimony; confidentiality

            A.(1) The provisions of this Section shall only apply to a nonprofit health care quality improvement corporation, hereinafter referred to as "corporation", which complies with all of the following:

            (a) Is established with the assistance and participation of the Louisiana Department of Health.

            (b) Is incorporated in accordance with the Louisiana Nonprofit Corporation Law (R.S. 12:201 et seq.).

            (c) Is exempt from taxation in accordance with Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.

            (d) Functions as a statewide public-private partnership through which public agencies, health care providers, health plans, consumers, educational institutions, and quality improvement specialists work collaboratively to improve the quality of health care in Louisiana through activities such as research, reporting of health data and statistics, collection and analysis of population health measures, performance measurement, and evaluation and promotion of clinical guidelines and criteria.

            (2) All standards, guidelines, or criteria which are created, developed, or promoted by a corporation, and all opinions, findings, conclusions, decisions, or recommendations made by a corporation, shall have the sole purpose of improving the quality of health care in Louisiana. All such standards, guidelines, or criteria shall be strictly voluntary in nature and may not be used or cited in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding to prove a legal standard of care, either to support or negate the liability of a party.

            (3) A corporation shall not operate as, or be deemed to be, a peer review committee or entity as provided in R.S. 13:3715.3. No health care provider may delegate, or purport to delegate, any of his legitimate peer review functions to a corporation.

            B. As used in this Section, the following terms mean:

            (1) "Corporation" means a "corporation" as described in Subsection A of this Section and includes any person or entity who performs any of the functions of such a corporation pursuant to a contract or subcontract.

            (2) "Health care provider" means a "health care provider" as defined in R.S. 40:1299.41 or a "state health care provider" as defined in R.S. 40:1299.39.

            (3) "Health plan" means a "health plan" as defined in the regulations promulgated pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 1302d et seq.).

            (4) "Non-identifiable information" means information presented in a form and manner that prevents the identification of any individual who is a patient or client of a health care provider or who is covered or insured under a health plan. The information shall be de-identified in accordance with the regulations promulgated pursuant to the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (42 U.S.C. 1302d et seq.).

            (5)(a) "Quality improvement work product" means any records, data, reports, notes, memoranda, e-mails, minutes, studies, analyses, statements, proceedings, deliberations, opinions, findings, conclusions, decisions, or recommendations made, or any actions taken within the scope of the functions of a corporation specifically related to the quality improvement processes which are:

            (i) Created or developed by a nonpublic health care provider or health plan solely for the purposes of reporting to the corporation;

            (ii) Reported to the corporation for quality improvement processes;

            (iii) Requested by the corporation, including the contents of the request;

            (iv) Reported to a health care provider or health plan by the corporation;

            (v) Created by a nonpublic health care provider to evaluate corrective actions following a report by or to the corporation; or

            (vi) Created or developed by the corporation and which are specifically related to the quality improvement process.

            (b) "Quality improvement work product" does not include:

            (i) Information, documents, or records otherwise available from original sources merely because they were collected for or submitted to a corporation;

            (ii) Documents, investigations, records, or reports otherwise required by law; or

            (iii) Reports and information disclosed in accordance with Subsection E of this Section.

            C.(1) Quality improvement work product shall be used by a corporation and its directors, officers, employees, staff, and agents only in the exercise of the proper functions of the corporation.

            (2) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, quality improvement work product and the proceedings and records of a corporation which are specifically related to the quality improvement process shall be privileged and confidential and shall not be subject to any of the following:

            (a) Production pursuant to any subpoena, order, or discovery process, or offered or introduced in evidence, in any civil or administrative proceeding.

            (b) Production pursuant to any subpoena, order, or discovery process, or offered or introduced in evidence, in any criminal proceeding, except the corporation or another party or entity upon whom a subpoena duces tecum is served shall respond by delivering the records described in the subpoena to the clerk of court, to be sealed by the court and made available only to the parties to the proceeding after an in camera review by the court and after affording the corporation or the possessor of the records an opportunity to argue against disclosure in such proceeding.

            (3) This Subsection shall not be construed to prohibit the discovery or use in a civil, criminal, or administrative proceeding of information, documents, or records otherwise available from original sources merely because they were collected for or submitted to a corporation.

            (4) This Subsection shall not apply to any information, documents, or records of a peer review committee or entity which is subject to the provisions of R.S. 13:3715.3. The use, disclosure, and discoverability of information, documents, or records of such a peer review committee or entity shall be governed by R.S. 13:3715.3.

            (5) No original record or document, which is otherwise discoverable, prepared by any person, other than a director, officer, employee, staff member, or agent of a corporation, may be held confidential solely because it is the only copy and is in the possession of the corporation.

            (6) A person or entity who creates, develops, furnishes, or reports any quality improvement work product to a corporation may, by written authorization, permit the corporation or another person or entity to disclose all or part of the quality improvement work product.

            D.(1) No director, officer, employee, staff member, or agent of a corporation shall disclose the actions, decisions, proceedings, discussions, or deliberations of a corporation except to the extent necessary for the exercise of the proper functions of the corporation.

            (2) Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no director, officer, employee, staff member, or agent of a corporation shall be permitted or compelled to testify in any judicial or administrative proceeding, or to respond to any discovery request propounded in the proceeding, regarding the actions, decisions, proceedings, discussions, or deliberations of a corporation.

            (3) This Subsection shall not be construed to prohibit a person from disclosing, reporting, or testifying as to information which is obtained independently of the activities of a corporation or which is public information.

            E. A corporation may disclose, publish, or release to the public non-identifiable information, including non-identifiable aggregate data, evidence-based information, summary reports, and educational material developed as a result of the quality improvement work product reported to it.

            Acts 2007, No. 359, §2.

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