§91-B. Confidentiality exceptions
1. Confidentiality. Except as otherwise provided in this chapter, all proceedings and records of proceedings concerning the quality assurance activities of an emergency medical services quality assurance committee approved by the board and all reports, information and records provided to the committee are confidential and may not be disclosed or obtained by discovery from the committee, the board or its staff. Quality assurance information may be disclosed to a licensee as part of any board-approved educational or corrective process. All complaints and investigative records of the board or any committee or subcommittee of the board are confidential during the pendency of an investigation and may not be disclosed by the committee, the board or its staff. Information or records that identify or permit identification of any patient that appears in any reports, information or records provided to the board or department for the purposes of investigation are confidential and may not be disclosed by the committee, the board or its staff.
A. A personal residence address, personal telephone number or personal e-mail address submitted to the board as part of any application under this chapter is confidential and may not be disclosed except as permitted under this section or as otherwise required by law unless the applicant who submitted the information indicated pursuant to section 90-B that the applicant is willing to have the applicant's personal residence address, personal telephone number or personal e-mail address treated as a public record. Personal health information submitted to the board as part of any application under this chapter is confidential and may not be disclosed except as otherwise permitted under this section or otherwise required by law.
The board and its committees and staff may disclose personal health information about and the personal residence address and personal telephone number of a licensee or an applicant for a license under this chapter to a government licensing or disciplinary authority or to a health care provider located within or outside this State that requests the information for the purposes of granting, limiting or denying a license or employment to the applicant or licensee. [2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW).]
B. Any materials or information submitted to the board in support of an application that are designated as confidential by any other provision of law remain confidential in the possession of the board. Information in any report or record provided to the board pursuant to this chapter that permits identification of a person receiving emergency medical treatment is confidential. [2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW).]
C. Information provided to the board under section 87-B is confidential if the information identifies or permits the identification of a trauma patient or a member of that patient's family. [2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW).]
D. Examination questions used by the board to fulfill the cognitive testing requirements of this chapter are confidential. [2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW).]
[ 2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW) .]
2. Exceptions. Information designated confidential under subsection 1 becomes a public record or may be released as provided in this subsection.
A. Confidential information may be released in an adjudicatory hearing or informal conference before the board or in any subsequent formal proceeding to which the confidential information is relevant. [2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW).]
B. Confidential information may be released in a consent agreement or other written settlement when the confidential information constitutes or pertains to the basis of board action. [2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW).]
C. Investigative records and complaints become public records upon the conclusion of an investigation unless confidentiality is required by some other provision of law. For purposes of this paragraph, an investigation is concluded when:
(1) Notice of an adjudicatory proceeding, as defined under Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 1, has been issued;
(2) A consent agreement has been executed; or
(3) A letter of dismissal has been issued or the investigation has otherwise been closed. [2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW).]
D. During the pendency of an investigation, a complaint or investigative record may be disclosed:
(1) To Maine Emergency Medical Services employees designated by the director;
(2) To designated complaint officers of the board;
(3) By a Maine Emergency Medical Services employee or complaint officer designated by the board to the extent considered necessary to facilitate the investigation;
(4) To other state or federal agencies when the files contain evidence of possible violations of laws enforced by those agencies;
(5) By the director, to the extent the director determines such disclosure necessary to avoid imminent and serious harm. The authority of the director to make such a disclosure may not be delegated;
(6) When it is determined, in accordance with rules adopted by the department, that confidentiality is no longer warranted due to general public knowledge of the circumstances surrounding the complaint or investigation and when the investigation would not be prejudiced by the disclosure; or
(7) To the person investigated on request of that person. The director may refuse to disclose part or all of any investigative information, including the fact of an investigation, when the director determines that disclosure would prejudice the investigation. The authority of the director to make such a determination may not be delegated. [2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW).]
E. Data collected by Maine Emergency Medical Services that allows identification of persons receiving emergency medical treatment may be released for purposes of research, regional medical control quality improvement plans, public health surveillance and linkage with patient electronic medical records if the release is approved by the board, the Medical Direction and Practices Board and the director. Information that specifically identifies individuals must be removed from the information disclosed pursuant to this paragraph, unless the board, the Medical Direction and Practices Board and the director determine that the release of such information is necessary for the purposes of the research, regional medical control quality improvement plans, public health surveillance or linkage with patient electronic medical records. [2017, c. 373, §2 (AMD).]
F. Confidential information may be released in accordance with an order issued on a finding of good cause by a court of competent jurisdiction. [2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW).]
G. Confidential information may be released to the Office of Chief Medical Examiner within the Office of the Attorney General. [2017, c. 475, Pt. A, §51 (AMD).]
H. Confidential information submitted to Maine Emergency Medical Services by any entity must be easily accessible by that entity in accordance with rules adopted by the board that enable compliance by the entity with federal and state laws regarding patient information privacy and access. [2017, c. 373, §3 (NEW).]
[ 2015, c. 82, §8 (AMD); 2017, c. 475, Pt. A, §51 (AMD) .]
3. Violation. A person who intentionally violates this section commits a civil violation for which a fine of not more than $1,000 may be adjudged.
[ 2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW) .]
2011, c. 271, §19 (NEW). 2015, c. 82, §8 (AMD). 2017, c. 373, §§2, 3 (AMD). 2017, c. 475, Pt. A, §51 (AMD).