Section 6-5-333

Dentists, chiropractors, and physicians serving on utilization and quality control committees, peer review committees, or professional standards review committees; consultants thereto and employees thereof; dental, chiropractic and medical societies and associations; appeal to Alabama Dental Association; confidentiality.

(a) Any dentist, chiropractor, or physician licensed to practice medicine in Alabama who serves on a peer review or a utilization and quality control committee or professional standards review committee or a similar committee or a committee of similar purpose or any dentist, physician, chiropractor, or individual who serves as a consultant or employee to one of said committees established either by a dental society or dental association or by a chiropractic society or chiropractic association or by a state medical association or county medical society to review any aspect of dental care, chiropractic care, or medical care at the request of a government agency, a patient, dentist, provider of dental benefits, chiropractor, provider of chiropractic benefits, physician licensed to practice medicine in Alabama, or third party insurer shall not be liable to any person for damages as a result of any action taken or recommendation made by him within the scope of his function as a member of or employee or consultant to such review committee if such action was taken or recommendation made without malice and in a reasonable belief that such action or recommendation is warranted by the facts made known to him. No dental association or dental society, chiropractic association or chiropractic society, or state medical association or county medical society shall be liable for damages for any action taken or recommendation made by a review committee or any member of said committee or consultants or employees to said committee.

(b) Within the words and meaning of this section, a "committee" shall mean members of a committee of dentists, chiropractors, or physicians licensed to practice medicine in Alabama formed or appointed to evaluate the diagnosis or the performance of services of other dentists or dental auxiliary personnel, chiropractors or chiropractic auxiliary personnel or physicians licensed to practice medicine in Alabama or physician auxiliary personnel when such evaluation is requested by a government agency, by the fiscal intermediary responsible for the administration of group health care programs, by the recipient of dental, chiropractic, or medical services, or by a dentist, chiropractor, or physician licensed to practice medicine in Alabama.

(c) The provider or recipient of dental services evaluated by a review committee described in subsections (a) and (b) of this section shall have the right to appeal the decisions of said review committee to the Alabama Dental Association. No provider of dental care services or recipient of same or fiscal intermediary or government agency shall be bound by a ruling of a review committee established pursuant to this section on a controversy, dispute, or question unless he agrees in advance either specifically or generally to be bound by the ruling.

(d) All information, interviews, reports, statements, or memoranda furnished to any committee as defined in this section, and any findings, conclusions, or recommendations resulting from the proceedings of such committee are declared to be privileged. The records and proceedings of any such committees shall be confidential and shall be used by such committee and the members thereof only in the exercise of the proper functions of the committee and shall not be public records nor be available for court subpoena or for discovery proceedings. Nothing contained herein shall apply to records made in the regular course of business by a hospital, dentist, dental auxiliary personnel, chiropractor, chiropractic auxiliary personnel, physician, physician auxiliary personnel, or other provider of health care and information, documents, or records otherwise available from original sources are not to be construed as immune from discovery or use in any civil proceedings merely because they were presented during proceedings of such committee.

(Acts 1975, No. 1238, p. 2604; Acts 1981, 2nd Ex. Sess., No. 81-1080, p. 330, §1; Acts 1982, No. 82-273, p. 341, §1.)