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Indicates Matter Stricken
Indicates New Matter
Sponsors: Senators Alexander, Knotts, Hutto, Hayes and Short
Document Path: l:\s-res\tca\002comp.kmm.doc
Companion/Similar bill(s): 3928
Introduced in the Senate on April 14, 2005
Currently residing in the Senate Committee on Medical Affairs
Summary: Medical Examiners Board proceedings
HISTORY OF LEGISLATIVE ACTIONS
Date Body Action Description with journal page number ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 4/14/2005 Senate Introduced and read first time SJ-8 4/14/2005 Senate Referred to Committee on Medical Affairs SJ-8
View the latest legislative information at the LPITS web site
VERSIONS OF THIS BILL
TO AMEND SECTION 40-47-213 OF THE 1976 CODE, RELATING TO THE PROHIBITION OF THE DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN INFORMATION RELATIVE TO STATE BOARD OF MEDICAL EXAMINERS PROCEEDINGS, TO ALLOW INFORMATION RELATED TO THE INITIAL COMPLAINANT TO BE DISCLOSED UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES, AND TO CREATE PROCEDURES RELATED TO PUBLIC ACCESS TO INFORMATION ARISING OUT OF A FORMAL COMPLAINT TO THE BOARD.
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Section 40-47-213 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 40-47-213. (A)(1)
No A person connected with any complaint, investigation, or other proceeding before the board, including, but not limited to, any witness, counsel, counsel's secretary staff, board member, board employee, court reporter, or investigator, may not mention the existence of the complaint, investigation, or other proceeding or disclose any information pertaining to the complaint, investigation, or other proceeding, tending to identify the initial complainant or a witness, or discuss any testimony or other evidence in the complaint, investigation, or other proceeding, except as otherwise provided in this section.
(2) Information may be disclosed to persons involved and having a direct interest in the complaint, investigation, or other proceeding
, and then only to the extent necessary for the proper disposition of the complaint, investigation, or other proceeding. The name of the initial complainant must be provided to the licensee who is the subject of the complaint, investigation, or proceeding unless the board, hearing officer, or panel determines there is good cause to withhold that information.
However, whenever When the board receives information in any complaint, investigation, or other proceeding before it indicating a violation of state or federal law, the board may provide that information, to the extent the board considers necessary, to the appropriate state or federal law enforcement agency or regulatory body.
(B) When a formal complaint is made regarding allegations of misconduct, the formal complaint and an answer must become available for public inspection and copying ten days after the filing of the answer or, if no answer is filed, ten days after the expiration of the time to answer. Once the formal complaint becomes available for public inspection and copying, subsequent records and proceedings relating to the misconduct allegations must be open to the public except as otherwise provided in this section.
(1) Patient records and identities shall remain confidential unless the patient or legal representative of the patient consents in writing to the release of the records.
(2) If allegations of incapacity of licensee due to physical or mental causes are raised in the complaint or answer, all records, information, and proceedings, relating to those allegations of incapacity must remain confidential; provided, however, any order relating to the licensee's authorization to practice must be made public, but the order must not disclose the nature of the incapacity.
(C) Once a proceeding becomes public as provided in this section, there is a presumption that any hearing, other proceeding, or record must remain public unless a party to a proceeding makes a showing on the record before the board, hearing officer, or panel that closure of the hearing or the record, in whole or in part, is essential to protect patients, witnesses, or the respondent from unreasonable disclosure of personal or confidential information. Public notice must be given of the request or motion to close any portion of a hearing or record, and the board, hearing officer, or panel shall provide an opportunity for a person opposing the closure to be heard prior to the decision on closure being made.
(D) Subject to the right of public access and utilizing the procedure regarding closure described in this section, a witness in a proceeding or a patient whose care is at issue in a proceeding may petition the board, hearing officer, or panel for an order to close the hearing or record, in whole or part, to protect the witness or patient from unreasonable disclosure of personal or confidential information; provided, however, the identity of a minor or sexual boundary victim must remain confidential without a motion being made.
(E) Upon a finding on the record that the health or safety or the personal privacy of a witness or patient would be put at risk unreasonably by the public disclosure of identifying information or of other personal information, the board, hearing officer, or panel may issue an order to protect the witness or patient from the harm shown to be probable from public disclosure.
Nothing contained in this section may be construed so as to prevent the board from making public a copy of its final order in any proceeding as authorized or required by law."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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