House Bill 123 was signed into law by Governor Kasich on February 18, 2014 and is intended to make explicit certain aspects of Ohio’s peer review privilege which, to date, have been implicit. The new provisions are located in Ohio Revised Code Sections 2305.25 and 2305.252 effective as of May 20, 2014.
Currently, Ohio’s peer review privilege applies to health care entities. The new law clearly states that this definition includes accountable care organizations; hospital groups owned, sponsored, or managed by single entities; and combinations of health care entities.
Currently, Ohio’s peer review privilege provides that a peer review committee’s proceedings and records are to be held in confidence and are not subject to discovery, nor are they to be introduced into evidence in any civil action against a health care entity or provider. The new law clearly states that, in the event of the release of any such peer review information, the release would only apply to the information that was actually released; it would not result in a loss of privilege to the information that was not disclosed.
Lastly, House Bill 123 makes explicit that health care entities may share protected peer review information and that the privilege will continue to apply so long as the shared information is only used for peer review purposes.