HEALTH AND SAFETY
HOSPITAL LICENSES AND INSPECTION
39-1392e. Limited exceptions to privilege and confidentiality. (a) In the event of a claim or civil action against a physician, emergency medical services personnel, a hospital, a residential care facility or a skilled nursing facility arising out of a particular physician-patient, emergency medical services personnel-patient, hospital-patient, residential care facility-patient or skilled nursing facility-patient relationship, or which concerns the sufficiency of the delivery of particular health care to a specific patient, any health care organization having information of the kind covered by section 39-1392b, Idaho Code, shall, when interrogated as hereinafter provided, advise any such claimant who is or was such a patient or who, in a representative capacity, acts on behalf of such patient or his heirs, as follows:
(1) Whether it has conducted or has in progress an inquiry, proceeding or disciplinary matter regarding the quality or propriety of the health care involved, which concerns the subject patient while he was under the care or responsibility of a member of such health care organization or while he was a patient in such hospital or facility; and, if so,
(2) Whether disposition of any kind resulted or will result therefrom; and, if so,
(3) What the disposition was, or, if not yet determined, approximately when it will be determined.
Such disclosure of information shall be limited to the health care organization’s actions in connection with the physician, emergency medical services personnel, hospital or skilled nursing facility against whom such claim is asserted.
(b) Such a claimant shall likewise be entitled to inquire of such health care organization respecting the names and addresses of persons who such health care organization knows to have direct knowledge of the provision of the health care in question, such inquiry to be limited, however, to the particular patient and the particular times and occasions germane to the specific occurrences on which the claim is based; provided, names shall not be disclosed respecting persons who have gained secondary knowledge or formed opinions respecting the matter solely by participating as witnesses, officials, investigators or otherwise on, for, or in connection with such a health care organization committee, staff, governing board or the state board of medicine.
(c) Such limited, conditional discovery and disclosure of information as provided above shall be allowed only in response to inquiries directed to such a health care organization, and then only if initially propounded by a claimant of the type above described. If the matter is in litigation, inquiry may be by customary means of discovery under the Idaho rules of civil procedure, or, if pending in a United States court, then under discovery as allowed by its applicable rules; provided, pendency of the claim in the United States court or before any other tribunal shall not operate to broaden the exception to the rules of privilege, confidentiality and immunity set down in this act.
(d) Such disclosures may be voluntarily made without judicial order or formal discovery if all disciplined, accused or investigated physicians or emergency medical services personnel consent thereto, and if privileged or confidential information regarding any other patient, physician, emergency medical services personnel, or person will not be disclosed thereby. When the terms of this paragraph are complied with, such voluntary disclosures may be made without civil liability therefor as if in due response to valid judicial process or order.
(e) If any claimant makes such inquiry of any such health care organization, he shall be deemed to have consented to like inquiry and disclosure rights for the benefit of all parties against whom he asserts such claim or brings such suit or action, and all other persons who are parties to such action, and thereafter all such persons and parties may invoke the provisions of this section, seeking and securing specific information as herein provided for the benefit of such claimant, to the same extent as the same is allowed to such claimant.
(f) If any physician, emergency medical services personnel, patient, person, organization or entity whose conduct, care, chart, behavior, health or standards of ethics or professional practice is the subject of investigation, comment, testimony, dispositive order of any kind or other written or verbal utterance or publication or act of any such health care organization or any member or committee thereof in the course of research, study, disciplinary proceeding or investigation of the sort contemplated by this act, makes claim or brings suit on account of such health care organization activity, then, in the defense thereof, confidentiality and privilege shall be deemed waived by the making of such claim, and such health care organization and the members of their staffs and committees shall be allowed to use and resort to such otherwise protected information for the purpose of presenting proof of the facts surrounding such matter, and this provision shall apply whether such claim be for equitable or legal relief or for intentional or unintentional tort of any kind and whether pressed by a patient, physician, emergency medical services personnel, or any other person, but such waiver shall only be effective in connection with the disposition or litigation of such claim, and the court shall, in its discretion, enter appropriate orders protecting, and as fully as it reasonably can do so, preserving the confidentiality of such materials and information.
[39-1392e, added 1973, ch. 265, sec. 6, p. 545; am. 1997, ch. 171, sec. 6, p. 488; am. 2004, ch. 134, sec. 3, p. 457; am. 2005, ch. 103, sec. 2, p. 326; am. 2018, ch. 145, sec. 2, p. 301.]