§47.31 Peer Review Statute Privilege
Author's Note : One frequent barrier to discovery in medical negligence cases is the Tennessee Peer Review Statute, T.C.A. §63-6-219. The Tennessee Supreme Court recently discussed this statute in Stratienko v. Chattanooga-Hamilton County Hospital Auth., 226 S.W.3d 280 (Tenn. 2007). The Tennessee Court of Appeals also discussed the Statute in Powell v. Community Health Systems, Inc., 2009 WL 17850, (Tenn. Ct. App. Jan. 2, 2009), and held, in a 2-1 decision, that certain infectious disease records were subject to discovery notwithstanding the claim that they were protected from disclosure under the Statute.
The Tennessee Supreme Court has granted review of the Powell case, and at the time this book went to press, the opinion in the case had not been released. The author has made the decision not to summarize either of these opinions in this text because the Powell case may result in a substantive change in the law on this subject. The Supreme Court decision in Powell will be addressed in the supplement to this book.
Recent Cases: Lee Medical, Inc. v. Beeber, 312 S.W.3d 515 (Tenn. 2010) (holding that the peer review privilege at “Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-6-219(e) applies only to peer review proceedings before a peer review committee as defined in § 63-6-219(c) that involve a physician’s conduct, competence, or ability to practice medicine.”); Powell v. Community Health Systems, Inc., 312 S.W.3d 496 (Tenn. 2010) (outlining analysis to determine whether peer review privilege at Tenn. Code Ann. § 63-6-219(e) applies).