Part 5. Maternal Mortality Review Committee.

130A-33.60. Maternal Mortality Review Committee; membership, compensation.

(a) The Maternal Mortality Review Committee is established in the Department. The purpose of the committee is to reduce maternal mortality in this State by conducting multidisciplinary maternal death reviews and developing recommendations for the prevention of future maternal deaths.

(b) The Secretary shall appoint a multidisciplinary committee comprised of nine members who represent several academic disciplines and professional specializations essential to reviewing cases of mortality due to complications from pregnancy or childbirth. Committee members shall serve without compensation, but may receive travel reimbursement from funds available to the Department.

(c) The duties of the committee shall include:

(1) Identifying maternal death cases.

(2) Reviewing medical records and other relevant data.

(3) Contacting family members and other affected or involved persons to collect additional relevant data.

(4) Consulting with relevant experts to evaluate relevant data.

(5) Making nonindividual determinations with no legal meaning regarding the preventability of maternal deaths.

(6) Making recommendations for the prevention of maternal deaths.

(7) Disseminating findings and recommendations to policy makers, health care providers, health care facilities, and the general public. Reports shall include only aggregated, nonindividually identifiable data.

(d) Licensed health care providers, health care facilities, and pharmacies shall provide reasonable access to the committee to all relevant medical records associated with a case under review by the committee. A health care provider, health care facility, or pharmacy providing access to medical records pursuant to this Part shall not be held liable for civil damages or be subject to any criminal or disciplinary action for good faith efforts to provide such records.

(e) Except as provided in subsection (h) of this section, information, records, reports, statements, notes, memoranda, or other data collected pursuant to this Part shall not be admissible as evidence in any action of any kind in any court or before any other tribunal, board, agency, or person, nor shall they be exhibited nor their contents disclosed in any way, in whole or in part, by any officer or representative of the Department or any other person, except as may be necessary for the purpose of furthering the committee's review of the case to which they relate. No person participating in such review shall disclose, in any manner, the information so obtained except in strict conformity with the review process.

(f) All information, records of interviews, written reports, statements, memoranda, or other data obtained by the Department, the committee, and other persons, agencies, or organizations so authorized by the Department pursuant to this Part shall be confidential.

(g) All proceedings and activities of the committee pursuant to this Part, opinions of committee members formed as a result of such proceedings and activities, and records obtained, created, or maintained pursuant to this Part, including records of interviews, written reports, and statements procured by the Department or any other person, agency, or organization acting jointly or under contract with the Department in connection with the requirements of this Part, shall be confidential and shall not be subject to statutes relating to open meetings and open records, or subject to subpoena, discovery, or introduction into evidence in any civil or criminal proceeding.

(h) Nothing in this Part shall be construed to limit or restrict the right to discover or use in any civil or criminal proceeding anything that is available from another source.

(i) Members of the committee shall not be questioned in any civil or criminal proceeding regarding the information presented or opinions formed as a result of a meeting or communication of the committee; provided, however, that nothing in this Part shall be construed to prevent a member of the committee from testifying to information obtained independently of the committee or which is public information. (2015-62, s. 6(a).)