Delaware Peer Review Statute

The information on this page was last updated by Horty, Springer & Mattern on January 31, 2017.

DELAWARE

PEER REVIEW

Del. Code Ann. tit. 24, § 1739. Protection from Liability.

Pursuant to the State Early Opt-in provision of 42 U.S.C. § 11111(c)(2), the protection from liability set forth in 42 U.S.C. § 11111(a) applies to professional review actions, as defined in 42 U.S.C. § 11151, commenced on or after September 10, 1988.

§ 1768. Immunity of boards of review; confidentiality of review board records.

(a) The Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline and the Medical Society of Delaware, their members, and the members of any committees appointed by the Board or Society; the members of any committee appointed by a certified health maintenance organization; members of hospital and osteopathic medical society committees; members of a professional standards review organization established under federal law; and members of other peer review committees or organizations whose function is the review of medical records, medical care, and physicians’ work, with a view to the quality of care and utilization of hospital or nursing home facilities, home visits, and office visits, are immune from claim, suit, liability, damages, or any other recourse, civil or criminal, arising from any act, omission, proceeding, decision, or determination undertaken or performed, or from any recommendation made, so long as the person acted in good faith and without gross or wanton negligence in carrying out the responsibilities, authority, duties, powers, and privileges of the offices conferred by law upon them, with good faith being presumed until proven otherwise, and gross or wanton negligence required to be shown by the complainant.

(b) Unless otherwise provided by this chapter, the records and proceedings of committees and organizations described in subsection (a) of this section are confidential and may be used by those committees or organizations and the members thereof only in the exercise of the proper functions of the committee or organization. The records and proceedings are not public records and are not available for court subpoena, nor are they subject to discovery. A person in attendance at a meeting of any such committee or organization is not required to testify as to what transpired at the meeting. A person certified to practice medicine, or a hospital, organization, or institution furnishing, in good faith and without gross or wanton negligence, information, data, reports, or records to such a committee or organization or a member thereof with respect to any patient examined or treated by a person certified to practice medicine or examined, treated, or confined in the hospital or institution is not, by reason of furnishing such information, data, reports, or records, liable in damages to any person or subject to any other recourse, civil or criminal. Nothing in this subsection prevents the Board from providing information, data, reports, or records in its possession to a medical, osteopathic, or other licensing board of any other state or territory of the United States regarding a person who is certified to practice medicine under this chapter, or otherwise regulated by this chapter, or who has been certified under this chapter or who has attempted to be certified under this chapter. The Board shall take reasonable steps to protect the identity of the patient in so far as such protection does not, in the opinion of the Board, adversely affect the Board’s ability to protect the public interest. The Board and its members and employees are not liable in any cause of action arising out of the providing of information, data, reports, or records provided that the person has acted in good faith and without gross or wanton negligence. This section may not be construed to create a privilege or right to refuse to honor a subpoena issued by or on behalf of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline pursuant to § 1731A(d) of this title, or issued by the Attorney General pursuant to § 2504(4) of Title 29, nor may it be construed to limit access to records by rights-protection agencies whose access is authorized by federal law. Notwithstanding the foregoing, in cases in which any disciplinary action by the Board was issued, the formal complaints prepared by the Delaware Department of Justice and the results of the hearings are not confidential and are public records except insofar as they contain confidential patient information or are otherwise subject to an exception under Chapter 100 of Title 29.