The State must have in effect a system of reporting information with respect to any final adverse action (not including settlements in which no findings of liability have been made) taken against a health care provider, supplier, or practitioner by a State law or fraud enforcement agency.
The State must provide the Secretary (or an entity designated by the Secretary) with access to such documents of a State licensing or certification agency or State law or fraud enforcement agency as may be necessary for the Secretary to determine the facts and circumstances concerning the actions and determinations described in such paragraph for the purpose of carrying out this chapter.
The Secretary shall provide for suitable safeguards for the confidentiality of the information furnished under subsection (a). Nothing in this subsection shall prevent the disclosure of such information by a party which is otherwise authorized, under applicable State law, to make such disclosure.
Each State licensing or certification agency and State law or fraud enforcement agency shall report corrections of information already reported about any formal proceeding or final adverse action described in subsection (a), in such form and manner as the Secretary prescribes by regulation.
The Secretary may establish or approve reasonable fees for the disclosure of information under this section. The amount of such a fee may not exceed the costs of processing the requests for disclosure and of providing such information. Such fees shall be available to the Secretary to cover such costs.
No person or entity, including any agency designated by the Secretary in subsection (b), shall be held liable in any civil action with respect to any reporting of information as required under this section, without knowledge of the falsity of the information contained in the report.
The term “State licensing or certification agency” includes any authority of a State (or of a political subdivision thereof) responsible for the licensing of health care practitioners (or any peer review organization or private accreditation entity reviewing the services provided by health care practitioners) or entities.
Such term does not include any action with respect to a malpractice claim.
In implementing this section, the Secretary shall provide for the maximum appropriate coordination with part B of the Health Care Quality Improvement Act of 1986 (42 U.S.C. 11131 et seq.) and section 1320a–7e of this title.