42 U.S. Code § 1320c–9 - Prohibition against disclosure of information

(a) Freedom of Information Act inapplicable; exceptions to nondisclosure
An organization, in carrying out its functions under a contract entered into under this part, shall not be a Federal agency for purposes of the provisions of section 552 of title 5 (commonly referred to as the Freedom of Information Act). Any data or information acquired by any such organization in the exercise of its duties and functions shall be held in confidence and shall not be disclosed to any person except—
(1) to the extent that may be necessary to carry out the purposes of this part,
(2) in such cases and under such circumstances as the Secretary shall by regulations provide to assure adequate protection of the rights and interests of patients, health care practitioners, or providers of health care, or
(3) in accordance with subsection (b) of this section.
(b) Disclosure of information permitted
An organization having a contract with the Secretary under this part shall provide in accordance with procedures and safeguards established by the Secretary, data and information—
(1) which may identify specific providers or practitioners as may be necessary—
(A) to assist Federal and State agencies recognized by the Secretary as having responsibility for identifying and investigating cases or patterns of fraud or abuse, which data and information shall be provided by the quality improvement organization to any such agency at the request of such agency relating to a specific case or pattern;
(B) to assist appropriate Federal and State agencies recognized by the Secretary as having responsibility for identifying cases or patterns involving risks to the public health, which data and information shall be provided by the quality improvement organization to any such agency—
(i) at the discretion of the quality improvement organization, at the request of such agency relating to a specific case or pattern with respect to which such agency has made a finding, or has a reasonable belief, that there may be a substantial risk to the public health, or
(ii) upon a finding by, or the reasonable belief of, the quality improvement organization that there may be a substantial risk to the public health;
(C) to assist appropriate State agencies recognized by the Secretary as having responsibility for licensing or certification of providers or practitioners or to assist national accreditation bodies acting pursuant to section 1395bb of this title in accrediting providers for purposes of meeting the conditions described in subchapter XVIII of this chapter, which data and information shall be provided by the quality improvement organization to any such agency or body at the request of such agency or body relating to a specific case or to a possible pattern of substandard care, but only to the extent that such data and information are required by the agency or body to carry out its respective function which is within the jurisdiction of the agency or body under State law or under section 1395bb of this title; and
(D) to provide notice in accordance with section 1320c–3 (a)(9)(B) of this title;
(2) to assist the Secretary, and such Federal and State agencies recognized by the Secretary as having health planning or related responsibilities under Federal or State law (including health systems agencies and State health planning and development agencies), in carrying out appropriate health care planning and related activities, which data and information shall be provided in such format and manner as may be prescribed by the Secretary or agreed upon by the responsible Federal and State agencies and such organization, and shall be in the form of aggregate statistical data (without explicitly identifying any individual) on a geographic, institutional, or other basis reflecting the volume and frequency of services furnished, as well as the demographic characteristics of the population subject to review by such organization.
The penalty provided in subsection (c) of this section shall not apply to the disclosure of any information received under this subsection, except that such penalty shall apply to the disclosure (by the agency receiving such information) of any such information described in paragraph (1) unless such disclosure is made in a judicial, administrative, or other formal legal proceeding resulting from an investigation conducted by the agency receiving the information. An organization may require payment of a reasonable fee for providing information under this subsection in response to a request for such information.
(c) Penalties
It shall be unlawful for any person to disclose any such information described in subsection (a) of this section other than for the purposes provided in subsections (a) and (b) of this section, and any person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $1,000, and imprisoned for not more than 6 months, or both, and shall be required to pay the costs of prosecution.
(d) Subpoena and discovery proceedings regarding patient records
No patient record in the possession of an organization having a contract with the Secretary under this part shall be subject to subpoena or discovery proceedings in a civil action. No document or other information produced by such an organization in connection with its deliberations in making determinations under section 1320c–3 (a)(1)(B) or 1320c–5 (a)(2) of this title shall be subject to subpoena or discovery in any administrative or civil proceeding; except that such an organization shall provide, upon request of a practitioner or other person adversely affected by such a determination, a summary of the organization’s findings and conclusions in making the determination.
(e) Organizations with contracts
For purposes of this section and section 1320c–6 of this title, the term “organization with a contract with the Secretary under this part” includes an entity with a contract with the Secretary under section 1320c–3 (a)(4)(C)  [1] of this title.


[1]  See References in Text note below.

Source

(Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title XI, § 1160, as added Pub. L. 97–248, title I, § 143,Sept. 3, 1982, 96 Stat. 391; amended Pub. L. 99–509, title IX, § 9353(d)(1),Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 2047; Pub. L. 100–203, title IV, § 4039(h)(6), Dec. 22, 1987, as added Pub. L. 100–360, title IV, § 411(e)(3),July 1, 1988, 102 Stat. 776; Pub. L. 101–508, title IV, § 4205(d)(1)(B), (e)(1),Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–113, 1388–114; Pub. L. 103–432, title I, § 156(b)(2)(B), (4),Oct. 31, 1994, 108 Stat. 4441; Pub. L. 112–40, title II, § 261(a)(2)(C),Oct. 21, 2011, 125 Stat. 423.)
References in Text

Section 1320c–3 (a)(4)(C) of this title, referred to in subsec. (e), was repealed by Pub. L. 112–40, title II, § 261(c)(2)(A)(ii),Oct. 21, 2011, 125 Stat. 425.
Prior Provisions

A prior section 1320c–9, act Aug. 14, 1935, ch. 531, title XI, § 1160, as added Oct. 30, 1972, Pub. L. 92–603, title II, § 249F(b), 86 Stat. 1438; amended Oct. 25, 1977, Pub. L. 95–142, § 5(e), (o)(3), 91 Stat. 1189, 1191; Aug. 13, 1981, Pub. L. 97–35, title XXI, § 2113(g), 95 Stat. 795, enumerated obligations of health care practitioners and providers of health care services, prior to the general revision of this part by Pub. L. 97–248.
Amendments

2011—Subsec. (b)(1)(A) to (C). Pub. L. 112–40substituted “quality improvement” for “peer review” wherever appearing.
1994—Subsec. (b)(1)(D). Pub. L. 103–432, § 156(b)(2)(B), amended subpar. (D) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (D) read as follows: “to provide notice to the State medical board in accordance with section 1320c–3 (a)(9)(B) of this title when the organization submits a report and recommendations to the Secretary under section 1320c–5 (b)(1) of this title with respect to a physician whom the board is responsible for licensing;”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 103–432, § 156(b)(4), which directed amendment of subsec. (d) by substituting “subpoena” for “subpena”, was executed by making the substitution in two places to reflect the probable intent of Congress.
1990—Subsec. (b)(1)(D). Pub. L. 101–508, § 4205(d)(1)(B), added subpar. (D).
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 101–508, § 4205(e)(1), inserted at end “No document or other information produced by such an organization in connection with its deliberations in making determinations under section 1320c–3 (a)(1)(B) or 1320c–5 (a)(2) of this title shall be subject to subpena or discovery in any administrative or civil proceeding; except that such an organization shall provide, upon request of a practitioner or other person adversely affected by such a determination, a summary of the organization’s findings and conclusions in making the determination.”
1988—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 100–360added Pub. L. 100–203, § 4039(h)(6), see 1987 Amendment note below.
1987—Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 100–203, § 4039(h)(6), as added by Pub. L. 100–360, added subsec. (e).
1986—Subsec. (b)(1)(C). Pub. L. 99–509amended subpar. (C) generally. Prior to amendment, subpar. (C) read as follows: “to assist appropriate State agencies recognized by the Secretary as having responsibility for licensing or certification of providers or practitioners, which data and information shall be provided by the peer review organization to any such agency at the request of such agency relating to a specific case, but only to the extent that such data and information is required by the agency in carrying out a function which is within the jurisdiction of such agency under State law; and”.
Effective Date of 2011 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 112–40applicable to contracts entered into or renewed on or after Jan. 1, 2012, see section 261(e) ofPub. L. 112–40, set out as a note under section 1320c of this title.
Effective Date of 1994 Amendment

Pub. L. 103–432, title I, § 156(b)(6),Oct. 31, 1994, 108 Stat. 4441, provided that:
“(A) Except as provided in subparagraph (B), the amendments made by this subsection [amending this section, sections 1320c–3 and 1320c–5 of this title, and provisions set out as notes under this section and section 1320c–5 of this title] shall take effect as if included in the enactment of OBRA–1990 [Pub. L. 101–508].
“(B) The amendments made by paragraph (2) [amending this section and section 1320c–3 of this title] (relating to the requirement on reporting of information to State boards) shall take effect on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 31, 1994].”
Effective Date of 1990 Amendment

Amendment by section 4205(d)(1)(B) ofPub. L. 101–508applicable to notices of proposed sanctions issued more than 60 days after Nov. 5, 1990, see section 4205(d)(1)(C) ofPub. L. 101–508, set out as a note under section 1320c–3 of this title.
Pub. L. 101–508, title IV, § 4205(e)(2),Nov. 5, 1990, 104 Stat. 1388–114, as amended by Pub. L. 103–432, title I, § 156(b)(5),Oct. 31, 1994, 108 Stat. 4441, provided that: “The amendment made by paragraph (1) [amending this section] shall apply to proceedings as of the date of the enactment of this Act [Nov. 5, 1990].”
Effective Date of 1988 Amendment

Except as specifically provided in section 411 ofPub. L. 100–360, amendment by Pub. L. 100–360, as it relates to a provision in the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1987, Pub. L. 100–203, effective as if included in the enactment of that provision in Pub. L. 100–203, see section 411(a) ofPub. L. 100–360, set out as a Reference to OBRA; Effective Date note under section 106 of Title 1, General Provisions.
Effective Date of 1986 Amendment

Pub. L. 99–509, title IX, § 9353(d)(2),Oct. 21, 1986, 100 Stat. 2047, provided that: “The amendments made by paragraph (1) [amending this section] shall apply to requests for data and information made on and after the end of the 6-month period beginning on the date of the enactment of this Act [Oct. 21, 1986].”
Freedom of Information Act Request

Pub. L. 96–499, title IX, § 928,Dec. 5, 1980, 94 Stat. 2630, provided that: “No Professional Standards Review Organization designated (conditionally or otherwise) under part B of title XI of the Social Security Act [42 U.S.C. 1320c et seq.] shall be required to make available any records pursuant to a request made under section 552 of title 5, United States Code, until the later of (1) one year after the date of entry of a final court order requiring that such records be made available, or (2) the last date of the Congress during which the court order was entered.”

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42 CFR - Public Health

42 CFR Part 476 - UTILIZATION AND QUALITY CONTROL REVIEW

 

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