Arizona law protects confidential peer-support group for physicians

An Arizona house bill that recently became law allows the Arizona Medical Association to run a confidential peer-support physician wellness program, the American Medical Association reported Oct. 7.

The Arizona law prevents conversations in the program from being subject to discovery, subpoena or reporting requirements of the health professional regulatory board unless the health professional voluntarily asks in writing for the information to be released. The only exceptions are for obligations to report criminal charges or actions, unprofessional conduct or if the physician is not safely practicing medicine.

The legislation will "have a direct, positive impact to help physicians experiencing burnout and otherwise support physician wellness in an evidence-based, confidential manner," James Madara, MD, CEO of AMA, wrote in a statement in support of the bill.

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