If a licentiate timely requests a hearing concerning a final proposed action for which a report is required to be filed under Section 805, the following shall apply:
(a) The hearing shall be held, as determined by the peer review body, before a trier of fact, which shall be an arbitrator or arbitrators selected by a process mutually acceptable to the licentiate and the peer review body, or before a panel of unbiased individuals who shall gain no direct financial benefit from the outcome, who have not acted as an accuser, investigator, factfinder, or initial decisionmaker in the same matter, and which shall include, where feasible, an individual practicing the same specialty as the licentiate.
(b) If a hearing officer is selected to preside at a hearing held before a panel, the hearing officer shall gain no direct financial benefit from the outcome, shall not act as a prosecuting officer or advocate, and shall not be entitled to vote.
(c) The licentiate shall have the right to a reasonable opportunity to voir dire the panel members and any hearing officer, and the right to challenge the impartiality of any member or hearing officer. Challenges to the impartiality of any member or hearing officer shall be ruled on by the presiding officer, who shall be the hearing officer if one has been selected.
(d) The licentiate shall have the right to inspect and copy at the licentiate’s expense any documentary information relevant to the charges which the peer review body has in its possession or under its control, as soon as practicable after the receipt of the licentiate’s request for a hearing. The peer review body shall have the right to inspect and copy at the peer review body’s expense any documentary information relevant to the charges which the licentiate has in his or her possession or control as soon as practicable after receipt of the peer review body’s request. The failure by either party to provide access to this information at least 30 days before the hearing shall constitute good cause for a continuance. The right to inspect and copy by either party does not extend to confidential information referring solely to individually identifiable licentiates, other than the licentiate under review. The arbitrator or presiding officer shall consider and rule upon any request for access to information, and may impose any safeguards the protection of the peer review process and justice requires.
(e) When ruling upon requests for access to information and determining the relevancy thereof, the arbitrator or presiding officer shall, among other factors, consider the following:
(1) Whether the information sought may be introduced to support or defend the charges.
(2) The exculpatory or inculpatory nature of the information sought, if any.
(3) The burden imposed on the party in possession of the information sought, if access is granted.
(4) Any previous requests for access to information submitted or resisted by the parties to the same proceeding.
(f) At the request of either side, the parties shall exchange lists of witnesses expected to testify and copies of all documents expected to be introduced at the hearing. Failure to disclose the identity of a witness or produce copies of all documents expected to be produced at least 10 days before the commencement of the hearing shall constitute good cause for a continuance.
(g) Continuances shall be granted upon agreement of the parties or by the arbitrator or presiding officer on a showing of good cause.
(h) A hearing under this section shall be commenced within 60 days after receipt of the request for hearing, and the peer review process shall be completed within a reasonable time, after a licentiate receives notice of a final proposed action or an immediate suspension or restriction of clinical privileges, unless the arbitrator or presiding officer issues a written decision finding that the licentiate failed to comply with subdivisions (d) and (e) in a timely manner, or consented to the delay.
(Added by Stats. 1989, Ch. 336, Sec. 3. Effective September 11, 1989. Operative January 1, 1990, by Sec. 11 of Ch. 336.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018