South Dakota Peer Review

The information on this page was last updated by Horty, Springer & Mattern on November 9, 2018.

SOUTH DAKOTA

PEER REVIEW

S.D. Codified Laws Ann. §36-4-25 Immunity from liability for acts of members of professional committees or hospital officials.

There is no monetary liability on the part of, and no cause of action for damages may arise against, any member of a duly appointed peer review committee engaging in peer review activity comprised of physicians licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy under this chapter, or against any duly appointed consultant to a peer review committee or to the medical staff or the governing board of a licensed health care facility for any act or proceeding undertaken or performed within the scope of the functions of the committee, if the committee member or consultant acts without malice, has made a reasonable effort to obtain the facts of the matter under consideration, and acts in reasonable belief that the action taken is warranted by those facts. The provisions of this section do not affect the official immunity of an officer or employee of a public corporation.

§36-4-26 Hospital and society liability not affected by immunity.

Section 36-4-25 shall not be construed to confer immunity from liability on any professional society or hospital. In any case in which, but for the enactment of §36-4-25, a cause of action would arise against a hospital or professional society, such cause of action shall exist as if said section had not been enacted.

§36-4-26.1 Proceedings of peer review committees confidential and privileged – Availability to physician subject of proceedings.

The proceedings, records, reports, statements, minutes, or any other data whatsoever, of any committee described in § 36-4-42, relating to peer review activities defined in § 36-4-43, are not subject to discovery or disclosure under chapter 15-6 or any other provision of law, and are not admissible as evidence in any action of any kind in any court or arbitration forum, except as hereinafter provided. No person in attendance at any meeting of any committee described in § 36-4-42 is required to testify as to what transpired at such meeting. The prohibition relating to discovery of evidence does not apply to deny a physician access to or use of information upon which a decision regarding the person’s staff privileges or employment was based. The prohibition relating to discovery of evidence does not apply to deny any person or the person’s counsel in the defense of an action against that person access to the materials covered under this section.

§36-4-26.2 Patient records available to patient — Expert opinion as to care of patient – Restrictions on use of expert testimony.

Section 36-4-26.1 does not apply to observations made at the time of treatment by a health care professional present during the patient’s treatment or to patient records prepared during the treatment and care rendered to a patient who is personally or by personal representative a party to an action or proceeding, the subject matter of which is the care and treatment of the patient. Furthermore, no member of any committee, department, section, board of directors, or group covered by §§ 36-4-26.1, who has participated in deliberations under that section involving the subject matter of the action, may testify as an expert witness for any party in any action for personal injury or wrongful death, the subject matter of which is the care and treatment of the patient. Notwithstanding membership on a committee, department, section, board of directors, or group covered by § 36-4-26.1, a health care professional observing or participating in the patient’s treatment and care may testify as a fact or expert witness concerning that treatment and care, but may not be required to testify as to anything protected by § 36-4-26.1.

§36-4-31.5 Evidence in cancellation, revocation, suspension, or limitation proceedings confidential.

Testimony of a witness or documentary evidence of any kind on cancellation, revocation, suspension, or limitation proceedings are not subject to discovery or disclosure under chapter 15-6 or any other provision of law, and are not admissible as evidence in any action of any kind in any court or arbitration forum, except as hereinafter provided. No person in attendance at any hearing of the Board of Examiners considering cancellation, revocation, suspension, or limitation of a license, resident license, or certificate issued by it may be required to testify as to what transpired at such meeting. The prohibition relating to discovery of evidence does not apply to deny a physician access to or use of information upon which a decision regarding the physician’s staff privileges was based. The prohibition relating to discovery of evidence does not apply to any person or the person’s counsel in the defense of an action against the person’s access to the materials covered under this section.

§36-4-42 Peer review committee defined.

For the purposes of §§ 36-4-25, 36-4-26, 36-4-43, a peer review committee is one or more persons acting as any committee of a state or local professional association or society, any committee of a licensed health care facility or the medical staff of a licensed health care facility, or any committee comprised of physicians within a medical care foundation, health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization, independent practice association, group medical practice, provider sponsored organization, or any other organization of physicians formed pursuant to state or federal law, that engages in peer review activity. For the purposes of this section, a peer review committee is also one or more persons acting as an administrative or medical committee, department, section, board of directors, shareholder or corporate member, or audit group, including the medical audit committee, of a licensed health care facility.

§36-4-43 Peer review activities defined.

For the purposes of §§36-4-25, 36-4-26.1, and 36-4-42, peer review activity is the procedure by which peer review committees monitor, evaluate, and recommend actions to improve the delivery and quality of services within their respective facilities, agencies, and professions, including recommendations, consideration of recommendations, actions with regard to recommendations, and implementation of actions. Peer review activity and acts or proceedings undertaken or performed within the scope of the functions of a peer review committee include:

(1) Matters affecting membership of a health professional on the staff of a health care facility or agency;

(2) The grant, delineation, renewal, denial, modification, limitation, or suspension of clinical privileges to provide health care services at a licensed health care facility;

(3) Matters affecting employment and terms of employment of a health professional by a health maintenance organization, preferred provider organization, independent practice association, or any other organization of physicians formed pursuant to state or federal law;

(4) Matters affecting the membership and terms of membership in a health professional association, including decisions to suspend membership privileges, expel from membership, reprimand, or censure a member, or other disciplinary actions;

(5) Review and evaluation of qualifications, competency, character, experience, activities, conduct, or performance of any health professional, including the medical residents of health care facility; and

(6) Review of the quality, type, or necessity of services provided by one or more health professionals or medical residents, individually or as a statistically significant group, or both.