The information on this page was last updated by Horty, Springer & Mattern on July 11, 2019.
Tex. Occ. Code Ann. §160.001. Application of Federal Law
The Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. Section 1101 et seq.) applies to a professional review action or medical peer review conducted by a professional review body or a medical peer review committee in this state on or after September 1, 1987.
§160.002. Report of Medical Peer Review
(a) A medical peer review committee or health care entity shall report in writing to the board the results and circumstances of a medical peer review that:
(1) adversely affects the clinical privileges of a physician for a period longer than 30 days;
(2) accepts a physician’s surrender of clinical privileges either:
(A) while the physician is under an investigation by the medical peer review committee relating to possible incompetence or improper professional conduct; or
(B) in return for not conducting an investigation or proceeding relating to possible incompetence or improper professional conduct; or
(3) adversely affects the membership of a physician in a professional society or association, if the medical peer review is conducted by that society or association.
(b) The duty to report under this section may not be nullified through contract.
§ 160.003. Report by Certain Practitioners
(a) This section applies to:
(1) a medical peer review committee in this state;
(2) a physician licensed in this state or otherwise lawfully practicing medicine in this state;
(3) a physician engaged in graduate medical education or training;
(4) a medical student;
(5) a physician assistant or acupuncturist licensed in this state or otherwise lawfully practicing in this state; and
(6) a physician assistant student or acupuncturist student.
(b) A person or committee subject to this section shall report relevant information to the board relating to the acts of a physician in this state if, in the opinion of the person or committee, that physician poses a continuing threat to the public welfare through the practice of medicine.
(c) The duty to report under this section may not be nullified through contract.
§ 160.004. Report Regarding Certain Impaired Physicians
(a) This section applies to:
(1) a committee of a professional medical society or association operating under written bylaws approved by the policymaking body or governing board of the society or association and composed primarily of physicians;
(2) the staff of that committee; or
(3) a district or local intervenor participating in a program established to aid physicians whose ability to practice medicine is impaired, or reasonably believed to be impaired, by drug or alcohol abuse or mental or physical illness.
(b) A person or committee subject to this section:
(1) may report to the board or to a health care entity in which an affected physician has clinical privileges the name of the impaired physician together with pertinent information relating to that impairment, and
(2) shall report to the board and any known health care entity in which the physician has clinical privileges if the person or committee determines that, through the practice of medicine, the physician poses a continuing threat to the public welfare.
(c) Except as otherwise provided by this subtitle, each proceeding and record of a person described by Subsection (a) is confidential, and any communication made to the person or committee is privileged from disclosure in the manner provided under this subchapter for information submitted by a medical peer review committee. This confidentiality and privilege from disclosure applies to all information developed under this section, including information developed before September 1, 1991.
§160.005. Report Confidential; Communication Not Privileged
(a) A report made under this subchapter is confidential and is not subject to disclosure under Chapter 552, Government Code.
(b) In a proceeding brought under this chapter or Chapter 158, 159, or 162, evidence may not be excluded on the ground that it consists of a privileged communication unless it is a communication between attorney and client.
§160.006. Board Confidentiality
(a) A record, report, or other information received and maintained by the board under this subchapter or Subchapter B, including any material received or developed by the board during an investigation or hearing and the identity of, and reports made by, a physician performing or supervising compliance monitoring for the board, is confidential. The board may disclose this information only:
(1) in a disciplinary hearing before the board or State Office of Administrative Hearings or in a subsequent trial or appeal of a board action or order;
(2) to the physician licensing or disciplinary authority of another jurisdiction, to a local, state, or national professional medical society or association, or to a medical peer review committee located inside or outside this state that is concerned with granting, limiting, or denying a physician hospital privileges;
(3) under a court order;
(4) to qualified personnel for bona fide research or educational purposes, if personally identifiable information relating to any physician or other individual is first deleted; or
(5) to the division of workers’ compensation of the Texas Department of Insurance as provided by Section 413.0514, Labor Code.
(b) Any known hospital suspension of a physician for a term of 30 days or longer relating to the physician’s competence and a disciplinary order of the board against a physician are not confidential.
(c) A record or report disclosed by the board under this subchapter, a record or report received, maintained, or developed by the board, a medical peer review committee, a member of the committee, or a health care entity, and a record or report received or maintained by the State Office of Administrative Hearings under this subchapter are not available for discovery or court subpoena and may not be introduced into evidence in any action for damages, including a medical professional liability action that arises out of the provision of or failure to provide a medical or health care service.
(d) Medical peer review documents remain confidential at the board and at the State Office of Administrative Hearings. If medical peer review documents are admitted into evidence for any purpose at a proceeding before the State Office of Administrative Hearings, the documents must be admitted under seal to protect the confidentiality of the records as provided by this section and Section 160.007. In the event that a decision of the board or the State Office of Administrative Hearings is appealed to district court or other court, the confidentiality protections relating to the medical peer review committee documents shall continue.
(e) The confidentiality requirements of this section do not apply to records used by a medical peer review committee, including a patient’s medical records or records made or maintained in the regular course of business, if the records are not considered confidential under this chapter or any other law and are otherwise available to the board.