As the General Counsel for the National Committee for Quality Assurance, which accredits health plans and measures outcome performance, Ms. Donohue is in a unique position to comment on the use of such data in litigation against health plans and providers. After reviewing the growing tide of class-action lawsuits in this area, she argues that such information should be protected under the common law privilege of self-critical analysis, extended to third parties, because such privilege would protect and encourage quality assessment. Ms. Donohue further argues that the sharing and reporting of this information on a system-wide level will allow plans and providers to make visible headway in improving the care provided to patients, and that this benefit to all consumers clearly justifies the creation of a federal privilege to combat the abundance of state-level lawsuits against plans and providers that attempt to base liability on third-party accreditation and outcome performance data.

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