AGO 88-3.

Case Date:July 12, 1988
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1988. AGO 88-3. July 12, 1988Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 88-3 AG Alpha No. LO CH AGAQQ Joan Offutt, Director Colorado Health Data Commission 1313 Sherman Street Denver, CO 80203 RE: Legal Opinion Regarding Disclosure Of Information To The Health Data CommissionDear Ms. Offutt: I write in response to your request for a legal opinion dated June 2, 1988. QUESTION PRESENTED FOR REVIEW AND CONCLUSIONS Does either section 25-3-109 (H.B. 1037) (1988) or section 12-43.5-101 through 103, C.R.S. (1985 & 1987 Supp.), authorize a health care facility to refuse to submit information to the Health Data Commission (HDC)? Conclusion: No. ANALYSIS You state that two hospitals have refused to provide information in response to a survey issued by the HDC pursuant to rule 87-2, 8 CCR 1305-1 (1-88). These hospitals base their refusals on H.B. 1037. H.B. 1037 added section 25-3-109, which makes confidential certain information derived from quality management functions performed by health care facilities. In essence, the hospitals argue that section 25-3-109 (H.B. 1037) (1988) impliedly repeals the authority of the HDC to obtain information regarding quality management programs. Statutory repeal by implication is not favored in Colorado. Uberoi v. University of Colorado, 686 P.2d 785, 788 (Colo. 1984); Sutherland Statutory Construction section 23.10, 4th Ed. (1985). If two provisions can be construed to avoid inconsistency, such construction will be adopted. Colorado State Board of Medical Examiners v. Jorgenson, 198 Colo. 275, 281, 599 P.2d 869, 873-74 (1979). Only when there is a manifest inconsistency between a later and an earlier statute will repeal be held to have occurred. Fuhrer v. Department of Motor Vehicles, 197 Colo. 325, 328, 592 P.2d 402, 404 (1979). In December 1987, the Colorado Department of Health passed its quality management rules. Chapter 2, part 3, 6 CCR 1011-1, (1-88). The rules require most licensed health facilities to submit a quality management program to the Department of Health for its approval. The rules ensure that health care facilities have a program in place which will adequately evaluate the quality of patient care. Representatives of the health facilities industry believed that the...

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