Summary of the Committee Version of the Bill
HCS HB 1072 -- Volunteer Health Services Act
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
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
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
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