All states have some degree of confidentiality protection for peer review activities and the information generated by those activities, and there is additional federal protection for information gathered and created by Patient Safety Organizations (PSOs), established pursuant to the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act (PSQIA) of 2005.
However, physicians, hospitals, and medical staffs should not cavalierly rely upon assumed confidentiality for the protection of the information generated and collected by various peer review organizations or bodies. In a number of pervious Med Law Blog posts, I have noted that incident reports, information collected for risk management purposes, and other types of non-peer review activity does not qualify for peer review confidentiality unless the information is generated by the peer review activity for a legitimate peer review purpose.
In Krusac v. Covenant Medical Center, Inc., (2015 Michigan Lexis 923), the Michigan Supreme Court held that, “objective facts gathered contemporaneously with an event” are not entitled to privilege under Michigan’s peer review privilege statutes.
The lesson is that one should not assume that all information that might be used for peer review activities is automatically protected by the peer review confidentiality statutes of the various states.