Article 11A.

Medical Care Data.

131E-214. Title and purpose.

(a) This Article is the Medical Care Data Act.

(b) The General Assembly finds that, as a result of rising medical care costs and the concern expressed by medical care providers, medical care consumers, third-party payors, and health care planners involved with planning for the provision of medical care, there is an urgent and continuing need to understand patterns and trends in the use and cost of medical care services in this State. The purposes of this Article are as follows:

(1) To ensure that there is an information base containing medical care data from throughout the State that can be used to improve the appropriate and efficient use of medical care services and maintain an acceptable quality of health care services in this State.

(2) To ensure that the necessary medical care data is available to university researchers, State public policymakers, and all other interested persons to improve the decision-making process regarding access, identified needs, patterns of medical care, charges, and use of appropriate medical care services.

(3) To ensure that a data processor receiving data under this Article protects patient confidentiality.

These purposes are to be accomplished by requiring that all hospitals and freestanding ambulatory surgical facilities submit information necessary for a review and comparison of charges, utilization patterns, and quality of medical services to a data processor that maintains a statewide database of medical care data and that makes medical care data available to interested persons, including medical care providers, third-party payors, medical care consumers, and health care planners. (1995, c. 517, s. 39(b).)