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Wash. Rev. Code § 43.70.510

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Health care quality-Findings and intent- Requirements for conducting study under 43.70.066

All health care institutions, facilities, professional organizations, health service contractors, health maintenance organizations, and health carriers may, with the exception of hospitals, establish a “coordinated quality improvement program” (“program”). The program must comply with requirements established in § 70.41.200(1) and must receive approval from the department.

Provider groups comprised of at least five providers may establish and operate a quality improvement program so long as the program complies with § 70.41.200(1) and receives department approval.

Individuals that submit information to a quality improvement or medical malpractice prevention program are immune from resulting liability so long as they submitted the information in good faith. Individuals that share information, in good faith, with committees or programs addressing quality improvement or peer review as part of their participation in a coordinated quality improvement program are immune from any resulting liability.

All information obtained and created by a quality improvement committee is not subject to discovery and is barred from submission into evidence in any civil action. Individuals that participate on a quality assurance committee or participate in the creation or collection of information for such a committee may not testify about the information. However, Washington does permit: (1) the discovery of the identity of individuals involved in the claim so long as their involvement is independent of quality improvement activities; and (2) the testimony of an individual regarding the facts that gave rise to a committee proceeding so long as the individual obtained their knowledge independent of the proceeding; (3) the introduction of committee information in a proceeding involving the “restriction or revocation” of a provider’s clinical or staff privileges; (4) the introduction of committee information in a proceeding involving the termination of  facility’s contract with a state agency due to quality concerns; (5) “, disclosure of the fact that staff privileges were terminated or restricted, including the specific restrictions imposed, if any and the reasons for the restrictions;” and (6) the discovery and introduction of patient medical records as required by department of health rules.

The public records act does not permit disclosure of documents and information created and maintained by quality improvement committees.

Coordinated quality improvement programs may share information with quality improvement committees, peer review committees, quality assurance committees, and other coordinated quality improvement programs so long as they comply with HIPAA requirements. Information shared by such committees and programs remains undiscoverable and inadmissible.

Current as of June 2015