Article 6A.

Optometry Peer Review.

90-128.1. Peer review agreements.

(a) The North Carolina State Board of Examiners in Optometry may, under rules adopted by the Board in compliance with Chapter 150B of the General Statutes, enter into agreements with the North Carolina State Optometric Society (Society), for the purpose of conducting peer review activities. Peer review activities to be covered by such agreements shall be limited in peer review proceedings to review of clinical outcomes as they relate to the quality of health care delivered by optometrists licensed by the Board.

(b) Peer review agreements shall include provisions for the Society to receive relevant information from the Board and other sources, provide assurance of confidentiality of nonpublic information and of the review process, and make reports to the Board. Peer review agreements shall include provisions assuring due process.

(c) Any confidential patient information and other nonpublic information acquired, created, or used in good faith by the Society pursuant to this section shall remain confidential and shall not be subject to discovery or subpoena in a civil case.

(d) Peer review activities conducted in good faith pursuant to any agreement under this section are deemed to be State directed and sanctioned and shall constitute State action for the purposes of application of antitrust laws. The Board shall be responsible for legal fees arising from peer review activities. (1997-75, s. 3.)