Summary of the Committee Version of the Bill


HCS HB 1072 -- Volunteer Health Services Act


SPONSOR: Sater


COMMITTEE ACTION: Voted "do pass" by the Committee on Health

Care Policy by a vote of 11 to 0.


This substitute establishes the Volunteer Health Services Act.

In its main provisions, the substitute:


(1) Allows for no additional license or certificate for a

licensed health care practitioner who, without compensation,

voluntarily renders health care services if those services are

within his or her scope of practice;


(2) Requires the sponsoring organization to register with the

Department of Heath and Senior Services and pay a $50 fee. The

registration fee is waived for any organization providing

services in cases of natural or manmade disasters;

  

(3) Requires the sponsoring organization to file a quarterly

report with the department which lists all licensed health care

providers who provided voluntary services during the preceding

quarter and to maintain records for five years following the date

of service which include the date, place, and type of services.

The department may revoke the registration of any organization

that fails to comply with these requirements;


(4) Exempts a volunteer health care provider from civil

liability for any act or omission resulting in the rendering of

the services if the act or omission is not a result of a person’s

gross negligence or willful misconduct;


(5) Prohibits a volunteer health care professional from

receiving any type of compensation, benefit, or consideration and

prohibits him or her from engaging in activities at a clinic or

at his or her office unless those activities are authorized by

the appropriate authority;


(6) Specifies that an active duty military medical officer or

dentist working at a military hospital or medical facility is to

be deemed to be licensed; and


(7) Exempts specified volunteer crisis response team members

from tort liability under certain circumstances.

     

FISCAL NOTE: No impact on state funds in FY 2013, FY 2014, and

FY 2015.


PROPONENTS: Supporters say that physicians often do not provide volunteer services because of the fear of litigation. Safeguards

for sponsoring organizations are needed to protect volunteering

physicians from paying outrageous malpractice insurance premiums.

If a situation occurs that falls outside the provisions of the

bill, the health care volunteer would be liable and not the

sponsoring organization.


Testifying for the bill were Representative Sater; Missouri

Nurses Association; and American Red Cross-Missouri Chapter.


OPPONENTS: Those who oppose the bill say that the bill does not

identify any standard of care for the health care providers to

follow and that could open up the door for any provider to not be

required to follow any standard of care, even when not operating

as a volunteer. The bill does not establish a level threshold of

liability for a volunteer health services provider. The term

“gross negligence” is not defined in statute and renders the

phrase meaningless; however, if you remove the term, the bill

would give absolute immunity to any provider in the state. The

bill is duplicative and incompatible to Section 44.045 which

addresses when a health care professional can be deployed during

a state of emergency, immunity from liability, and the permitted

release of certain confidential information.


Testifying against the bill was Missouri Association of Trial

Attorneys.


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