2004 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Senator(s) King, Albritton, Butler, Carmichael, Clarke, Dearing, Mettetal, Moffatt, Thomas
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 73-25-57, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, OF THE DISABLED PHYSICIAN LAW TO PROVIDE THAT RECORDS IN THE POSSESSION OF THE STATE BOARD OF MEDICAL LICENSURE AND THE EXAMINING COMMITTEE SHALL BE DEEMED CONFIDENTIAL UNLESS SO ORDERED BY A COURT; TO PROVIDE FOR ANONYMITY OF THOSE INDIVIDUALS FILING REPORTS WITH THE BOARD OR EXAMINING COMMITTEE WHO HAVE REQUESTED TO REMAIN ANONYMOUS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 73-25-57, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-25-57. (1) The examining committee assigned to examine a physician pursuant to referral by the board under Section 73-25-55 shall conduct an examination of such physician for the purpose of determining the physician's fitness to practice medicine with reasonable skill and safety to patients, either on a restricted or unrestricted basis, and shall report its findings and recommendations to the board. The committee shall order the physician to appear before the committee for examination and give him ten (10) days' notice of time and place of the examination, together with a statement of the cause for such examination. Such notice shall be served upon the physician either personally or by registered or certified mail with return receipt requested.
(2) If the examining committee, in its discretion, should deem an independent mental or physical examination of the physician necessary to its determination of the fitness of the physician to practice, the committee shall order the physician to submit to such examination. Any person licensed to practice medicine in this state shall be deemed to have waived all objections to the admissibility of the examining committee's report in any proceedings before the board under Sections 73-25-51 through 73-25-67 on the grounds of privileged communication. Any physician ordered to an examination before the committee under subsection (2) shall be entitled to an independent mental or physical examination if he makes request therefor.
(3) Any physician who submits to a diagnostic mental or physical examination as ordered by the examining committee shall have a right to designate another physician to be present at the examination and make an independent report to the board.
(4) Failure of a physician to comply with a committee order under subsection (2) to appear before it for examination or to submit to mental or physical examination under this section shall be reported by the committee to the board, and unless due to circumstances beyond the control of the physician, shall be grounds for suspension by the board of the physician's license to practice medicine in this state until such time as such physician has complied with the order of the committee.
(5) The examining committee may inspect patient records in accordance with the provisions of Section 73-25-28.
(6) All patient records, investigative reports and other documents in possession of the board and examining committee shall be deemed confidential and not subject to subpoena or disclosure unless so ordered by the court from which the subpoena issued, but the court, in its discretion, may limit use or disclosure of such records. Notwithstanding, and to encourage the prompt reporting of disabled practitioners, neither the board nor examining committee shall reveal the identity of any source of information where the source has requested anonymity.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2004.