(a) It shall be the duty of the Alabama Physician Wellness Committee to render an annual report to the State Board of Medical Examiners concerning the operations and proceedings of the committee for the preceding year.
(b) The committee shall report to the State Board of Medical Examiners any physician or osteopath who in the opinion of the committee is unable to practice medicine or osteopathy with reasonable skill and safety to patients by reason of illness, inebriation, excessive use of drugs, narcotics, alcohol, chemicals, or other substances or as a result of any physical or mental condition when it appears that such physician or osteopath is currently in need of intervention, treatment, or rehabilitation, and such physician or osteopath has failed or refused to participate in programs of treatment or rehabilitation recommended by the committee. In any report to the State Board of Medical Examiners made pursuant to the requirements of this subsection, the committee or its authorized designee may forward to the board any and all reports, evaluations, treatment records, medical records, documents, or information relevant to the physician or osteopath upon whom the report is made, unless specifically prohibited by federal law or regulation, notwithstanding any law or regulation of this state declaring that such evaluations, information, treatment records, medical records, documents, or reports are confidential or privileged. All such information, evaluations, documents, reports, treatment records, or medical records received by the board in a report submitted pursuant to this subsection shall be privileged and confidential and shall not be public records nor available for court subpoena or for discovery proceedings but may be used by the board in the course of its investigations and may be introduced as evidence in administrative hearings conducted by the board or by the Medical Licensure Commission.
(c) A report to the Alabama Physician Wellness Committee shall be deemed to be a report to the State Board of Medical Examiners for the purposes of any mandated reporting of physician impairment otherwise provided for by the statutes of this state.