Tennessee Code Annotated

Title 63: Professions of the Healing Arts

Chapter 51: Health Care Consumer Right-to-Know Act of 1998

TCA 63-51-105: Information for public dissemination.

(a) Each board regulating a provider, as defined in SC 63-51-102(b), shall collect the following information and provide to the department of health in order for the department to create individual profiles on licensees, in a format created by the department that shall be available for dissemination to the public:

(1) A description of any criminal convictions for felonies and, as determined by the board, serious misdemeanors, within the most recent ten (10) years. For the purposes of this subsection (a), a person shall be deemed to be convicted of a crime if such person was found or adjudged guilty by a court of competent jurisdiction. Misdemeanor convictions later expunged by a court of competent jurisdiction shall be stricken from the provider's profile;

(2) A description of any final board disciplinary actions within the most recent ten (10) years, which actions shall include final board action as defined by SC 4-5-314, and reprimand action taken pursuant to a board practice act;

(3) A description of any final disciplinary actions of licensing boards in other states within the most recent ten (10) years;

(4) A description of revocation or involuntary restriction of hospital privileges for reasons related to competence or character that has been taken by the hospital's governing body or any other official action of the hospital after procedural due process has been afforded, or the resignation from or nonrenewal of medical staff membership or the restriction of privileges at a hospital taken in lieu of or in settlement of a pending disciplinary case related to competence or character in that hospital, all as taken pursuant to procedures promulgated by the board for licensing health care facilities. Only cases that have occurred within the most recent ten (10) years shall be disclosed by the department to the public;

(5) (A) All health care liability court judgments, all health care liability arbitration awards in which a payment is awarded to a complaining party and all settlements of health care liability claims in which a payment is made to a complaining party beginning with reports for 1998 and each subsequent year; provided, such reports shall not be disseminated beyond the most recent ten-year period, but shall include the most recent ten-year period for which reports have been filed. Each provider licensing board shall set by rule adopted pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act, compiled in title 4, chapter 5, a threshold amount below which judgments or settlements shall not be reportable; provided, such threshold shall, for chapter 6 or 9 of this title licensees, be set at seventy-five thousand dollars ($75,000), for doctors of chiropractic, regulated pursuant to chapter 4 of this title, be set at fifty thousand dollars ($50,000), for dentists, regulated pursuant to chapter 5 of this title, be set at twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000), and for all other licensees under this title be set at ten thousand dollars ($10,000). Dispositions of paid claims shall be reported in a minimum of three (3) graduated categories indicating the level of significance of the award or settlement. Information concerning paid health care liability claims shall be put in context by comparing an individual licensee's health care liability judgment awards and settlements to the experience of other providers within the same specialty. Information concerning the existence of a court-sealed settlement shall be reported in cases involving such a settlement. Information concerning all settlements shall be accompanied by the following statement: "Settlement of a claim may occur for a variety of reasons which do not necessarily reflect negatively on the professional competence or conduct of the provider. A payment in settlement of a health care liability action or claim should not be construed as creating a presumption that health care liability has occurred." Nothing in this subdivision (a)(5) shall be construed to limit or prevent the department from providing further explanatory information regarding the significance of categories in which settlements are reported;

(B) Pending health care liability claims shall not be disclosed by a board to the public. Nothing in this subdivision (a)(5) shall be construed to prevent a board from investigating and disciplining a licensee on the basis of health care liability claims that are pending;

(6) Names of medical schools or professional and training schools and dates of graduation;

(7) Graduate medical education or other graduate-level training;

(8) Specialty board certification as determined by the relevant board;

(9) Names of the hospitals where the licensee has privileges;

(10) Appointments to medical school faculties and indication as to whether a licensee has a responsibility for graduate medical education within the most recent ten (10) years;

(11) Information regarding publications in peer-reviewed medical literature;

(12) Information regarding professional or community service associations, activities and awards;

(13) The location of the licensee's primary practice setting;

(14) The identification of any translating services that may be available at the licensee's primary practice location;

(15) An indication of which managed care plans in which the licensee participates;

(16) An indication of TennCare plans in which the licensee participates; and

(17) No information that is otherwise privileged under this title, and that is generated by any peer review program, provider health program, or impaired professionals program operated or administered by a provider association or foundation that such association has created for peer review purposes, shall be included in any profile unless such information is not contemplated by the particular title 63 statute as being privileged.

(b) Each board shall provide individual licensees with a copy of their profiles prior to release to the public. A licensee shall be provided a reasonable time to correct factual inaccuracies that appear in such profile.

(c) A provider may elect to have the provider's profile omit certain information provided pursuant to subdivisions (a)(10)-(12), inclusive, concerning academic appointments and teaching responsibilities, publications in peer-reviewed journals and professional and community service awards. In collecting information for such profiles and in disseminating such profiles, each board shall inform providers that they may choose not to provide such information required pursuant to subdivisions (a)(10)-(12), inclusive.

(d) The department shall develop formats for dissemination of such information to the public, which, at a minimum shall include electronic media, including the World Wide Web of the Internet, and a toll-free telephone line.

(e) On or before January 1, 1999, the division of health related boards of the department shall become a participant in the national practitioners databank.

(f) Individual profiles posted pursuant to SC 63-51-107 shall not contain the licensee's home address and social security number, unless such home address is provided by the licensee, along with a request that it be contained in the profile, as their official mailing or practice address. Notwithstanding any provision of this subsection (f), a record containing the home address of the licensee on file with the department of health concerning the provisions of this chapter shall continue to remain a public record.

History: Acts 1998, ch. 1073, SC 5; 1999, ch. 373, SCSC 4, 5; 2000, ch. 589, SC 1; 2006, ch. 663, SCSC 1, 2; 2012, ch. 798, SCSC 52, 53.