(a) Confidentiality of Records.— Medical quality assurance records created by or for the Department of Defense as part of a medical quality assurance program are confidential and privileged. Such records may not be disclosed to any person or entity, except as provided in subsection (c).
(b) Prohibition on Disclosure and Testimony.—
(1)No part of any medical quality assurance record described in subsection (a) may be subject to discovery or admitted into evidence in any judicial or administrative proceeding, except as provided in subsection (c).
(2)A person who reviews or creates medical quality assurance records for the Department of Defense or who participates in any proceeding that reviews or creates such records may not be permitted or required to testify in any judicial or administrative proceeding with respect to such records or with respect to any finding, recommendation, evaluation, opinion, or action taken by such person or body in connection with such records except as provided in this section.
(c) Authorized Disclosure and Testimony.—
(1)Subject to paragraph (2), a medical quality assurance record described in subsection (a) may be disclosed, and a person referred to in subsection (b) may give testimony in connection with such a record, only as follows:
(A)To a Federal executive agency or private organization, if such medical quality assurance record or testimony is needed by such agency or organization to perform licensing or accreditation functions related to Department of Defense health care facilities or to perform monitoring, required by law, of Department of Defense health care facilities.
(B)To an administrative or judicial proceeding commenced by a present or former Department of Defense health care provider concerning the termination, suspension, or limitation of clinical privileges of such health care provider.
(C)To a governmental board or agency or to a professional health care society or organization, if such medical quality assurance record or testimony is needed by such board, agency, society, or organization to perform licensing, credentialing, or the monitoring of professional standards with respect to any health care provider who is or was a member or an employee of the Department of Defense.
(D)To a hospital, medical center, or other institution that provides health care services, if such medical quality assurance record or testimony is needed by such institution to assess the professional qualifications of any health care provider who is or was a member or employee of the Department of Defense and who has applied for or been granted authority or employment to provide health care services in or on behalf of such institution.
(E)To an officer, employee, or contractor of the Department of Defense who has a need for such record or testimony to perform official duties.
(F)To a criminal or civil law enforcement agency or instrumentality charged under applicable law with the protection of the public health or safety, if a qualified representative of such agency or instrumentality makes a written request that such record or testimony be provided for a purpose authorized by law.
(G)In an administrative or judicial proceeding commenced by a criminal or civil law enforcement agency or instrumentality referred to in subparagraph (F), but only with respect to the subject of such proceeding.
(2)With the exception of the subject of a quality assurance action, the identity of any person receiving health care services from the Department of Defense or the identity of any other person associated with such department for purposes of a medical quality assurance program that is disclosed in a medical quality assurance record described in subsection (a) shall be deleted from that record or document before any disclosure of such record is made outside the Department of Defense. Such requirement does not apply to the release of information pursuant to section
552a of title
(d) Disclosure for Certain Purposes.—
(1)Nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing or requiring the withholding from any person or entity aggregate statistical information regarding the results of Department of Defense medical quality assurance programs.
(2)Nothing in this section shall be construed as authority to withhold any medical quality assurance record from a committee of either House of Congress, any joint committee of Congress, or the Comptroller General if such record pertains to any matter within their respective jurisdictions.
(e) Prohibition on Disclosure of Record or Testimony.— A person or entity having possession of or access to a record or testimony described by this section may not disclose the contents of such record or testimony in any manner or for any purpose except as provided in this section.
(f) Exemption From Freedom of Information Act.— Medical quality assurance records described in subsection (a) may not be made available to any person under section
552 of title
(g) Limitation on Civil Liability.— A person who participates in or provides information to a person or body that reviews or creates medical quality assurance records described in subsection (a) shall not be civilly liable for such participation or for providing such information if the participation or provision of information was in good faith based on prevailing professional standards at the time the medical quality assurance program activity took place.
(h) Application to Information in Certain Other Records.— Nothing in this section shall be construed as limiting access to the information in a record created and maintained outside a medical quality assurance program, including a patient’s medical records, on the grounds that the information was presented during meetings of a review body that are part of a medical quality assurance program.
(i) Regulations.— The Secretary of Defense shall prescribe regulations to implement this section.
(j) Definitions.— In this section:
(1)The term “medical quality assurance program” means any peer review activity carried out before, on, or after November 14, 1986 by or for the Department of Defense to assess the quality of medical care, including activities conducted by individuals, military medical or dental treatment facility committees, or other review bodies responsible for quality assurance, credentials, infection control, patient care assessment (including treatment procedures, blood, drugs, and therapeutics), medical records, health resources management review and identification and prevention of medical or dental incidents and risks.
(2)The term “medical quality assurance record” means the proceedings, records, minutes, and reports that emanate from quality assurance program activities described in paragraph (1) and are produced or compiled by the Department of Defense as part of a medical quality assurance program.
(3)The term “health care provider” means any military or civilian health care professional who, under regulations of a military department, is granted clinical practice privileges to provide health care services in a military medical or dental treatment facility or who is licensed or certified to perform health care services by a governmental board or agency or professional health care society or organization.
(4)The term “peer review” means any assessment of the quality of medical care carried out by a health care professional, including any such assessment of professional performance, any patient safety program root cause analysis or report, or any similar activity described in regulations prescribed by the Secretary under subsection (i).
(k) Penalty.— Any person who willfully discloses a medical quality assurance record other than as provided in this section, knowing that such record is a medical quality assurance record, shall be fined not more than $3,000 in the case of a first offense and not more than $20,000 in the case of a subsequent offense.
2004—Subsec. (d)(2). Pub. L. 108–375substituted “Comptroller General” for “General Accounting Office”.
1989—Subsec. (j)(1). Pub. L. 101–189substituted “November 14, 1986” for “the date of the enactment of this section”.
1987—Subsec. (c)(2). Pub. L. 100–180struck out “, United States Code” after “title 5” in second sentence.
Effective Date of 2011 Amendment
Pub. L. 112–81, div. A, title VII, § 714(b),Dec. 31, 2011, 125 Stat. 1477, provided that: “The amendments made by subsection (a) [amending this section] shall take effect on January 1, 2012.”
Section 705(b) ofPub. L. 99–661provided that: “Section
1102 of title
10, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply to all records created before, on, or after the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 14, 1986] by or for the Department of Defense as part of a medical quality assurance program.”
The table below lists the classification updates, since Jan. 3, 2012, for this section. Updates to a broader range of sections may be found at the update page for containing chapter, title, etc.
The most recent Classification Table update that we have noticed was Tuesday, August 13, 2013
An empty table indicates that we see no relevant changes listed in the classification tables. If you suspect that our system may be missing something, please double-check with the Office of the Law Revision Counsel.