Colorado Supreme Court reaffirms protection of physician’s professional review documents
- June 24, 2014
- Miles Buckingham
- Comments Off on Colorado Supreme Court reaffirms protection of physician’s professional review documents
In an opinion released June 24, 2014, the Colorado Supreme Court has reaffirmed statutory protections against the disclosure or compelled production of professional review materials relating to a physician. The opinion, which can be found at 2014 CO 51, and in the link below, involved a demand by a physician for copies of Letters of Concern issued by the Colorado Medical Board to unidentified physicians in the state. The Board refused, citing the statutory protections given to professional review committee records. 12-36.5-104, C.R.S. (2013). The Letters of Concern were found to be protected even though they are outside of what one would expect typical peer review materials to include (such as when a M&M conference is held in a hospital). The opinion also clarifies that physician review records may not be obtained or used even if sought through administrative proceedings.
Both attorneys and physicians should be very mindful, however, that this opinion still does not address the difference in protections which are available under State law, and those which are (not) available under Federal law, as discussed in Atteberry v. Longmont United, 221 FRD 644 (2004). Cases where there is a question involving the Federal courts’ original jurisdiction may not find this new opinion especially informative.