Iowa Peer Review Statute

This information was last updated by Horty, Springer & Mattern on June 5, 2018.

IOWA

PEER REVIEW

Iowa Code Ann. §147.1 Definitions.

For the purpose of this subtitle:

1. “Board” means one of the boards enumerated in section 147.13 or any other board established in this subtitle whose members are appointed by the governor to license applicants and impose licensee discipline as authorized by law.

2. “Department” means the department of public health.

3. “Licensed” or “certified” when applied to a physician and surgeon, podiatric physician, osteopathic physician and surgeon, physician assistant, psychologist,  chiropractor, nurse, dentist, dental hygienist, dental assistant, optometrist, speech pathologist, audiologist, pharmacist, physical therapist, physical therapist assistant, occupational therapist, occupational therapy assistant, respiratory care practitioner, practitioner of cosmetology arts and sciences, practitioner of barbering, funeral director, dietitian, marital and family therapist, mental health counselor, respiratory care and polysomnography practitioner, polysomnographic technologist, social worker, massage therapist, athletic trainer, acupuncturist, nursing home administrator, hearing aid specialist, or sign language interpreter or transliterator means a person licensed under this subtitle.

4. “Peer review” means evaluation of professional services rendered by a person licensed to practice a profession.

5. “Peer review committee” means one or more persons acting in a peer review capacity who also serve as an officer, director, trustee, agent, or member of any of the following:

a. A state or local professional society of a profession for which there is peer review.

b. Any organization approved to conduct peer review by a society as designated in paragraph “a” of this subsection.

c. The medical staff of any licensed hospital.

d. A board enumerated in section 147.13 or any other board established in this subtitle which is appointed by the governor to license applicants and impose licensee discipline as authorized by law.

e. The board of trustees of a licensed hospital when performing a function relating to the reporting required by section 147.135, subsection 3.

f. A health care entity, including but not limited to a group medical practice, that provides health care services and follows a formal peer review process for the purpose of furthering quality health care.

6. “Profession” means medicine and surgery, podiatry, osteopathic medicine and surgery, practice as a physician assistant, psychology, chiropractic, nursing, dentistry, dental hygiene, dental assisting, optometry, speech pathology, audiology, pharmacy, physical therapy, physical therapist assisting, occupational therapy, occupational therapy assisting, respiratory care, cosmetology arts and sciences, barbering, mortuary science, marital and family therapy, mental health counseling, polysomnography, social work, dietetics, massage therapy, athletic training, acupuncture, nursing home administration, practice as a hearing aid specialist, sign language interpreting or transliterating, orthotics, prosthetics, or pedorthics.

§147.135 Peer review committees–nonliability–records and reports privileged and confidential.

1. A person shall not be civilly liable as a result of acts, omissions, or decisions made in connection with the person’s service on a peer review committee. However, such immunity from civil liability shall not apply if an act, omission, or decision is made with malice.

2. As used in this subsection, “peer review records” means all complaint files, investigation files, reports, and other investigative information relating to licensee discipline or professional competence in the possession of a peer review committee or an employee of a peer review committee. As used in this subsection, “peer review committee” does not include licensing boards. Peer review records are privileged and confidential, are not subject to discovery, subpoena, or other means of legal compulsion for release to a person other than an affected licensee or a peer review committee, and are not admissible in evidence in a judicial or administrative proceeding other than a proceeding involving licensee discipline or a proceeding brought by a licensee who is the subject of a peer review record and whose competence is at issue. A person shall not be liable as a result of filing a report or complaint with a peer review committee or providing information to such a committee, or for disclosure of privileged matter to a peer review committee. A person present at a meeting of a peer review committee shall not be permitted to testify as to the findings, recommendations, evaluations, or opinions of the peer review committee in any judicial or administrative proceeding other than a proceeding involving licensee discipline or a proceeding brought by a licensee who is the subject of a peer review committee meeting and whose competence is at issue. Information or documents discoverable from sources other than the peer review committee do not become nondiscoverable from the other sources merely because they are made available to or are in the possession of a peer review committee. However, such information relating to licensee discipline may be disclosed to an appropriate licensing authority in any jurisdiction in which the licensee is licensed or has applied for a license. If such information indicates a crime has been committed, the information shall be reported to the proper law enforcement agency. This subsection shall not preclude the discovery of the identification of witnesses or documents known to a peer review committee. Any final written decision and finding of fact by a licensing board in a disciplinary proceeding is a public record. Upon appeal by a licensee of a decision of a board, the entire case record shall be submitted to the reviewing court. In all cases where privileged and confidential information under this subsection becomes discoverable, admissible, or part of a court record the identity of an individual whose privilege has been involuntarily waived shall be withheld.

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272C.8. Immunities.

1. a. A person shall not be civilly liable as a result of the person’s acts, omissions, or decisions in good faith as a member of a licensing board or as an employee or agent in connection with the person’s duties.

b. A person shall not be civilly liable as a result of filing a report or complaint with a licensing board or peer review committee, or for the disclosure to a licensing board or its agents or employees, whether or not pursuant to a subpoena of records, documents, testimony, or other forms of information which constitute privileged matter concerning a recipient of health care services or some other person, in connection with proceedings of a peer review committee, or in connection with duties of a health care board. However, such immunity from civil liability shall not apply if such act is done with malice.

c. A person shall not be dismissed from employment, and shall not be discriminated against by an employer because the person filed a complaint with a licensing board or peer review committee, or because the person participated as a member, agent, or employee of a licensing board or peer review committee, or presented testimony or other evidence to a licensing board or peer review committee.

2. Any employer who violates the terms of this section shall be liable to any person aggrieved for actual and punitive damages plus reasonable attorney fees.

Iowa Admin. Code r. 645-9.6 (272C) Peer review committees.

9.6(1) A complaint may be assigned to a peer review committee for review, investigation, or report to the board.

9.6(2) The board shall determine which peer review committee will review a case and what complaints or other matters shall be referred to a peer review committee for investigation, review, or report to the board.

9.6(3) Members of the peer review committees shall not be liable for acts, omissions, or decisions made in connection with service on the peer review committee. However, such immunity from civil liability shall not apply if such act is done with malice.

9.6(4) The peer review committees shall observe the requirements of confidentiality imposed by Iowa Code section 272C.6.