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Introduced Senate Bill (S)

DIGEST

Immunity for physician wellness programs. Defines the term "wellness program" as any board, committee, commission, group, organization, or other entity that evaluates or addresses issues concerning: (1) the wellness of licensed physicians; and (2) career fatigue in licensed physicians. Excludes: (1) impaired physician committees; and (2) employee assistance programs; from the definition of the term. Specifies that the proceedings and deliberations of a wellness program are confidential. Specifies certain exceptions. Specifies that all minutes, records, reports, written expert opinions, written communications, and other comparable memoranda prepared or created by a wellness program are privileged. Specifies certain exceptions. Prohibits all wellness Immunity for physician wellness programs. Defines the term "wellness program" as any board, committee, commission, group, organization, or other entity that evaluates or addresses issues concerning: (1) the wellness of licensed physicians; and (2) career fatigue in licensed physicians. Excludes: (1) impaired physician committees; and (2) employee assistance programs; from the definition of the term. Specifies that the proceedings and deliberations of a wellness program are confidential. Specifies certain exceptions. Specifies that all minutes, records, reports, written expert opinions, written communications, and other comparable memoranda prepared or created by a wellness program are privileged. Specifies certain exceptions. Prohibits all wellness program personnel and participants from revealing or disclosing the substance of wellness program communications, records, and determinations to any person or entity outside of the wellness program. Specifies certain exceptions. Requires a person seeking the production or discovery of confidential or privileged information to prove an exception to specified confidentiality and privilege provisions to a court with competent jurisdiction. Allows a court to mandate the discovery or production of confidential or privileged wellness program information in certain instances. Requires a court to issue a written order when mandating the discovery of confidential or privileged information or memoranda. Provides that the exchange of confidential or privileged information or memoranda between wellness groups does not result in the waiver of applicable confidentiality and privilege provisions. Provides that confidentiality and privilege provisions applicable to certain records do not make the records inaccessible to people or entities that would otherwise be eligible to receive or access the records under existing state or federal law. Provides that the confidentiality and privilege provisions applicable to wellness groups do not abrogate, limit, or restrict any other privacy protection applicable to a patient or the patient's health or medical information. Provides that any member, consultant, or participant who comprises or participates in a wellness program is immune from civil liability and damages, including punitive damages, for any act or omission related to the person's role in the wellness group. Specifies certain exceptions. Provides that a member, consultant, or participant who comprises or participates in a wellness program is not required to report a licensed physician to the medical licensing board for any act, omission, statement, discovery, or disclosure unless the licensed physician presents a threat to himself or herself, to his or her patients, or to the general public. Defines certain terms. ... View more