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Dumay Gorham, Jr. Newson, Graham, Hedrick Kennon, P.

Craig and Michelle B. Beischer, for respondent-appellant PHP, Inc. Petitioner Wilmington Star-News, Inc. Third-party respondent PHP, Inc. The agreement was to include price lists specifying the costs and reimbursement rates at which certain Medical Center services would be provided to participating PHP customers. In September , Susan B. James Eyerman, a representative of Medical Center, which included the proposed price lists for hospital services. Section Craft also advised Mr.

Eyerman that the particular pricing information included in the agreement was confidential and should not be disclosed. Medical Center, through Mr. Eyerman, agreed to protect the confidentiality of the agreement. Attached to that agreement were several appendices listing the negotiated prices for hospital services. On 9 January , Morning Star requested Medical Center to provide a complete copy of the agreement between Medical Center and PHP from the hospital, including the appendices containing the price lists.

PHP advised Medical Center that the confidential pricing information contained in the appendices to the agreement were trade secrets of PHP and that disclosure of that information to Morning Star may subject Medical Center to liability for misappropriation for trade secrets. On 18 January , Medical Center delivered to Morning Star a copy of the agreement but did not include the appendices containing the price lists designated as trade secrets by PHP.

Medical Center responded and filed a third party complaint against PHP requesting reimbursement of any fees and expenses assessed against it as a result of this litigation. PHP responded with a Counterclaim for Declaratory relief requesting that the trial court enter an order declaring that the subject price lists are trade secrets and not subject to disclosure under the Public Records Act. Morning Star and PHP both moved the court for summary judgment. On 19 March the trial court denied PHP's motion for summary judgment and granted summary judgment for Morning Star and ordered immediate disclosure of the price lists to Morning Star.

Medical Center sought an order staying enforcement of the judgment pending appeal.

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On 20 March the trial court granted the requested stay delaying enforcement of its earlier order pending appeal. PHP and Medical Center now appeal the trial court's order granting summary judgment to Morning Star and requiring Medical Center to disclose the price lists.

Morning Star appeals the trial court's stay order. This case of first impression presents the issue of whether price lists in a contract between a public hospital and a private HMO are trade secrets as defined by G. Medical Center and PHP do not dispute that Medical Center is subject to the provisions of the Public Records Act; however, they argue, inter alia , that the information in dispute is excepted from the Act on the grounds that it concerns "competitive health care activities" pursuant to G.

Our standard of review for summary judgment is whether there is any genuine issue of material fact and whether the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Aetna Casualty Surety Co. Welch , 92 N. In ruling on a summary judgment motion, the court should consider the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the affidavits. See Davis v. Town of Southern Pines , N.

The court must view the evidence presented by both parties in the light most favorable to the nonmoving party. We note that in the General Assembly enacted G.

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Regular Session, c. The financial terms or other competitive health care information in a contract related to the provision of health care between a hospital and a managed care organization, insurance company, employer, or other payer is confidential and not a public record under Chapter of the General Statutes. However, the legislation specifically provided that this section not affect any litigation pending prior to ratification on 21 June and shall expire 1 June Regular Session c.

Therefore, this section provides us with little more than a basis for conjecture as to the legislative intent surrounding the meaning of "competitive health care activities" pursuant to G.


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The section of the Hospital Licensure Act entitled "Confidentiality of competitive health care information" provides as follows:. Information relating to competitive health care activities by or on behalf of hospitals shall be confidential and not a public record under Chapter of the General Statutes; provided that any contract entered into by or on behalf of a public hospital, as defined in G. The plain language of this section exempts certain information from the Public Records Act when two requirements are met: 1 The material must relate to competitive health care; and 2 the material must not be a contract executed with a public hospital.

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