Nebraska Peer Review Statutes

The information on this page was last updated by Horty, Springer & Mattern on April 29, 2019.

NEBRASKA

PEER REVIEW

Neb. Rev. Stat. §71-7904. Act, how cited.

Sections 71-7904 to 71-7913 shall be known and may be cited as the Health Care Quality Improvement Act.

§71-7905. Purposes of act.

The purposes of the Health Care Quality Improvement Act are to provide protection for those individuals who participate in peer review activities which evaluate the quality and efficiency of health care providers and to protect the confidentiality of peer review records.

§71-7906. Definitions, where found.

For purposes of the Health Care Quality Improvement Act, the definitions found in sections 71-7907 to 71-7910 apply.

§71-7907. Health care provider, defined.

Health care provider means:

(1) A facility licensed under the Health Care Facility Licensure Act;

(2) A health care professional licensed under the Uniform Credentialing Act; and

(3) An organization or association of health care professionals licensed under the Uniform Credentialing Act.

§71-7908. Incident report, defined.

Incident report or risk management report means a report of an incident involving injury or potential injury to a patient as a result of patient care provided by a health care provider, including both an individual who provides health care and an entity that provides health care, that is created specifically for and collected and maintained for exclusive use by a peer review committee of a health care entity and that is within the scope of the functions of that committee.

§71-7909. Peer review, defined.

Peer review means the procedure by which health care providers evaluate the quality and efficiency of services ordered or performed by other health care providers, including practice analysis, inpatient hospital and extended care facility utilization review, medical audit, ambulatory care review, root cause analysis, claims review, underwriting assistance, and the compliance of a hospital, nursing home, or other health care facility operated by a health care provider with the standards set by an association of health care providers and with applicable laws, rules, and regulations.

71-7910. Peer review committee, defined.

Peer review committee means a utilization review committee, quality assessment committee, performance improvement committee, tissue committee, credentialing committee, or other committee established by the governing board of a facility which is a health care provider that does either of the following:

(1) Conducts professional credentialing or quality review activities involving the competence of, professional conduct of, or quality of care provided by a health care provider, including both an individual who provides health care and an entity that provides health care; or

(2) Conducts any other attendant hearing process initiated as a result of a peer review committee’s recommendations or actions.

§71-7911. Liability for activities relating to peer review.

(1) A health care provider or an individual (a) serving as a member or employee of a peer review committee, working on behalf of a peer review committee, furnishing counsel or services to a peer review committee, or participating in a peer review activity as an officer, director, employee, or member of the governing board of a facility which is a health care provider and (b) acting without malice shall not be held liable in damages to any person for any acts, omissions, decisions, or other conduct within the scope of the functions of a peer review committee.

(2) A person who makes a report or provides information to a peer review committee shall not be subject to suit as a result of providing such information if such person acts without malice.

§71-7912. Confidentiality; discovery; availability of medical records, documents, or information; limitation.

(1) The proceedings, records, minutes, and reports of a peer review committee shall be held in confidence and shall not be subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil action. No person who attends a meeting of a peer review committee, works for or on behalf of a peer review committee, provides information to a peer review committee, or participates in a peer review activity as an officer, director, employee, or member of the governing board of a facility which is a health care provider shall be permitted or required to testify in any such civil action as to any evidence or other matters produced or presented during the proceedings or activities of the peer review committee or as to any findings, recommendations, evaluations, opinions, or other actions of the peer review committee or any members thereof.

(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent discovery or use in any civil action of medical records, documents, or information otherwise available from original sources and kept with respect to any patient in the ordinary course of business, but the records, documents, or information shall be available only from the original sources and cannot be obtained from the peer review committee’s proceedings or records.

§71-7913. Incident report or risk management report; how treated.

An incident report or risk management report and the contents of an incident report or risk management report are not subject to discovery in, and are not admissible in evidence in the trial of, a civil action for damages for injury, death, or loss to a patient of a health care provider. A person who prepares or has knowledge of the contents of an incident report or risk management report shall not testify and shall not be required to testify in any civil action as to the contents of the report.

§25-12,123. Peer review committee; proceedings and records; testimony; use in civil actions; limitation.

The proceedings and records of a peer review committee of a state or local association or society composed of health practitioners licensed pursuant to the Uniform Credentialing Act shall be held in confidence and shall not be subject to discovery or introduction into evidence in any civil action against a person licensed pursuant to the Act arising out of the matters which are the subject of evaluation and review by such committee. No person who was in attendance at a meeting of such committee shall be permitted or required to testify in any such civil action as to any evidence or other matters produced or presented during the proceedings of such committee or as to any findings, recommendations, evaluations, opinions, or other actions of such committee or any members thereof, except that information, documents, or records otherwise available from original sources are not to be construed as immune from discovery or use in any such civil action merely because they were presented during proceedings of such committee. Any documents or records which have been presented to the review committee by any witness shall be returned to the witness, if requested by him or her or if ordered to be produced by a court in any action, with copies thereof to be retained by the committee at its discretion. Any person who testifies before such committee or who is a member of such committee shall not be prevented from testifying as to matters within his or her knowledge, but such witness cannot be asked about his or her testimony before such a committee or opinions formed as a result of such committee hearings. Nothing in this section shall prohibit a court of record, after a hearing and for good cause arising from extraordinary circumstances being shown, from ordering the disclosure of such proceedings, minutes, records, reports, or communications.

§44-32,127. Quality assurance program; requirements.

Each health maintenance organization shall have an ongoing, internal quality assurance program to monitor and evaluate its health care services, including primary and specialist physician services, and ancillary and preventive health care services across all institutional and noninstitutional settings. The quality assurance program shall include, but not be limited to, the following:

(1) A written statement of goals and objectives which emphasizes improved health status in evaluating the quality of care rendered to enrollees;

(2) A written quality assurance plan which describes the following:

(a) The health maintenance organization’s scope and purpose in quality assurance;

(b) The organizational structure responsible for quality assurance activities;

(c) Contractual arrangements, when appropriate, for delegation of quality assurance activities;

(d) Confidentiality policies and procedures;

(e) A system of ongoing evaluation activities;

(f) A system of focused evaluation activities;

(g) A system for credentialing providers and performing peer review activities; and

(h) Duties and responsibilities of the designated physician responsible for the quality assurance activities;

(3) A written statement describing the system of ongoing quality assurance activities, including, but not limited to, the following:

(a) Problem assessment, identification, selection, and study;

(b) Corrective action, monitoring, evaluation, and reassessment; and

(c) Interpretation and analysis of patterns of care rendered to individual patients by individual providers;

(4) A written statement describing the system of focused quality assurance activities based on representative samples of the enrolled population which identifies method of topic selection, study, data collection, analysis, interpretation, and report format; and

(5) A written plan for taking appropriate corrective action whenever, as determined by the quality assurance program, inappropriate or substandard services have been provided or services which should have been furnished have not been provided.

Each health maintenance organization shall record proceedings of formal quality assurance program activities and maintain documentation in a confidential manner. Quality assurance program minutes shall be available to the Department of Health and Human Services. Each health maintenance organization shall also establish a mechanism for periodic reporting of quality assurance program activities to the governing body of the health maintenance organization, the providers, and appropriate staff.

§44-32,173. Health care review committee; health maintenance organization; exemption from liability.

A person who, in good faith and without malice, takes any action or makes any decision or recommendation as a member, agent, or employee of a health care review committee or who furnishes any records, information, or assistance to such a committee shall not be subject to liability for civil damages or any legal action in consequence of such action, nor shall the health maintenance organization which established such committee or the officers, directors, employees, or agents of such health maintenance organization be liable for the activities of any such person. This section shall not be construed to relieve any person of liability arising from treatment of a patient.

§44-32,174. Health care review committee; information and records; confidentiality.

(1) The information considered by a health care review committee and the records of their actions and proceedings shall be confidential and not subject to subpoena or order to produce except in proceedings before the appropriate state licensing or certifying agency or in an appeal from the committee’s findings or recommendations. No member of a health care review committee, no officer, director, or other member of a health maintenance organization or its staff engaged in assisting such committee, and no person assisting or furnishing information to such committee may be subpoenaed to testify in any judicial or quasi-judicial proceeding if such subpoena is based solely on such activities.

(2) Information considered by a health care review committee and the records of its actions and proceedings which are used pursuant to subsection (1) of this section by a state licensing or certifying agency or in an appeal shall be kept confidential and shall be subject to the same provisions concerning discovery and use in legal actions as the original information and records in the possession and control of a health care review committee.