Code Section Group

Health and Safety Code - HSC

DIVISION 101. ADMINISTRATION OF PUBLIC HEALTH [100100 - 101997]

  ( Division 101 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 3. )

PART 4. SPECIAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES [101525 - 101881]

  ( Part 4 added by Stats. 1995, Ch. 415, Sec. 3. )

CHAPTER 6. Other [101860 - 101881]

  ( Chapter 6 added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 927, Sec. 2. )

ARTICLE 4. Records To Be Available [101870 - 101873]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 927, Sec. 2. )

101870.
  

For the purposes of this article:

(a)  “Person” includes any natural person, corporation, partnership, limited liability company, firm, or association.

(b)  “Records” includes any writing containing information relating to the conduct of the corporation’s business prepared, owned, used, or retained by the corporation regardless of physical form or characteristics. “Records” does not include any records transferred from any private nonprofit corporation that is a member or predecessor of the corporation that were created prior to the transfer of assets for the operation of a hospital by the corporation.

(c)  “Writing” means handwriting, typewriting, printing, photostating, photographing, and every other means of recording upon any form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols, or combination thereof, and all papers, maps, magnetic or paper tapes, photographic films and prints, magnetic or punched cards, discs, drums, and other documents.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 927, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1998.)

101871.
  

(a)  Records of the corporation shall be available to the public for inspection or copying upon a request in writing, submitted to the principal office of the corporation, which reasonably identifies the particular records sought to be disclosed, unless it is impracticable for an exact copy to be provided. Computer data shall be provided in a form determined by the corporation. The corporation shall adopt policies consistent with this article stating the procedures to be followed when making its records available under this article and identifying the officers or employees of the corporation responsible for the administration of these policies, and shall make these policies available to the public for inspection upon request during normal business hours.

(b)  The corporation shall determine within 10 working days after receipt of a request whether to comply with the request, and shall immediately notify the person making the request of the determination and identify the provision of this article or other provision of law that is the basis for withholding any record. Access to records requested, or copies thereof, shall be provided promptly after the corporation determines it will comply with the request. The corporation may extend the time limit for making a determination for up to an additional 15 working days by giving written notice to the requester when an extension is necessary to permit the corporation to do any of the following:

(1)  To search for and collect the requested records from field facilities or other establishments that are separate from the office processing the request.

(2)  To search for, collect, and appropriately examine a voluminous amount of separate and distinct records that are demanded in a single request.

(3)  To consult with another person having a substantial interest in the determination of the request.

(4)  To permit a determination to be made under this subdivision.

(c)  Notices provided and requests made under this article shall be made available to the public.

(d)  The corporation may establish reasonable charges for the costs of complying with this article, not to exceed the actual cost of duplication.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 927, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1998.)

101872.
  

Nothing in this article shall be construed to require disclosure of any of the following:

(a)  Contracts, business and marketing strategies, financial information, and any other competitive and strategic information, disclosure of which would impair the corporation’s ability to accomplish its primary public benefit purposes by depriving the corporation of a material or competitive economic benefit or exposing the corporation to a material competitive or economic risk.

(b)  Records that relate to the terms and conditions of contracts for the provision of health care services, including compliance with regulatory conditions thereof, with governmental and nongovernmental insurers, health care providers, health plans, third-party administrators, management services organizations, self-insured employers, medical groups, and payers, or any other portion of contract negotiations, impressions, opinions, recommendations, meeting minutes, research, work product, theories, or strategy, or instructions or advice to employees.

(c)  Records that relate to reports of a hospital or medical audit committee or a quality assurance committee or similar reports by staff of the corporation, accreditation reports, audits, audit compliance, licensure compliance, insurance and self-insurance coverage, health care peer review reports, and quality assessments, including, but not limited to, a review of the credentials of, or the quality of care rendered by, health care providers in the facilities of the corporation, or hearings regarding medical staff privileges.

(d)  Records the disclosure of which is exempted or prohibited pursuant to any provision of state or federal law applicable to any governmental hospital, or any state or federal statute applicable to a nongovernmental hospital, including, but not limited to, provisions of the Evidence Code relating to privilege. The corporation shall identify the provision of law restricting disclosure when relying upon this exemption.

(e)  Real estate appraisals or engineering or feasibility estimates related to the acquisition or disposition of property or related to supply and construction contracts, and until all of the contracted property, supplies, or construction work is obtained. This exemption from disclosure shall continue until these contracts are final and agreed to by all parties to the contracts.

(f)  Records that relate to collective bargaining or contract negotiations with represented and unrepresented employees including discussions of the corporation’s available funds and funding priorities, but only insofar as these discussions relate to the corporation’s ability to conclude the collective bargaining agreement or contract under discussion. For the purposes of this subdivision, “employee” shall include an officer, an independent contractor who functions as an officer or an employee, a physician and surgeon or other medical professional with medical staff privileges at a health facility or clinic operated by the corporation, or other person exercising professional responsibilities as authorized by the corporation at a health facility or clinic operated by the corporation, but shall not include other independent contractors.

(g)  Medical, personnel, or similar files, the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of privacy of an employee, officer, customer, or patient of the corporation, including, but not limited to, home addresses, billing records, salaries, and employment contracts.

(h)  Records provided by potential employees, contractors, physicians and surgeons, or other persons for the use or consideration of the corporation under a reasonable belief that the corporation would treat the records supplied as confidential, including financial statements and proprietary information. A reasonable belief may be, but need not be, supported by a written agreement.

(i)  Library circulation records.

(j)  Any trade secret as defined in subdivision (d) of Section 3426.1 of the Civil Code.

(k)  Records relating to the purchase or sale of securities or other investments, including investments of the corporation in endowments and pension funds.

( l)  Records relating to gifts, devises, bequests, and grants.

(m)  Charges or complaints from a member enrolled in a health plan or any affiliated provider of health care services.

(n)  Any record not otherwise expressly exempt from disclosure under this article if it impairs the corporation’s ability to accomplish its primary public benefit purposes by either depriving the corporation of a material competitive or economic benefit, or exposing the corporation to a material competitive or economic risk.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 927, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1998.)

101873.
  

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, whenever at least one member of the members of the corporation is itself a state agency, including a constitutional corporation, the obligations of that member of the corporation to make records available to the public shall, with respect to any records received from or created by the corporation, be limited to those obligations contained in this article, provided that if a record otherwise subject to this article is distributed to a majority of the members of the governing body of a state agency, including a constitutional corporation, for consideration at a public meeting of that agency in open session in connection with an item of business on the agency’s meeting agenda, such a record shall be made available to the public in accordance with the laws applicable to that agency. Nothing in this article is intended to prohibit any member from making information available to the public.

(Added by Stats. 1997, Ch. 927, Sec. 2. Effective January 1, 1998.)

HSCHealth and Safety Code - HSC4