|Posted:||June 23, 2015 10:26 AM|
|From:||Representative Warren Kampf|
|To:||All House members|
|Subject:||Volunteer Physician Immunity Legislation|
I seek your co-sponsorship for legislation I plan to introduce shortly to increase the availability of health care services delivered by volunteer medical care providers. Specifically, this legislation will establish a procedure through which actively practicing physicians and other health care practitioners may provide professional services as volunteers in approved clinics in these areas. Please note that this bill is supported by the Pennsylvania Medical Society.
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) provides a legal mechanism for compensating people who have suffered personal injury by the negligent or wrongful action of employees of the U.S. government. Under the Public Health Service Act, employees of eligible health centers may be deemed to be Federal Employees qualified for protection under the FTCA. As a deemed employee, the professional is immune from medical malpractice liability for the care. However, to be eligible for this liability protection, health centers must submit an original deeming and annual renewal deeming applications to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC). The deeming process is involved, and sufficiently burdensome that many small clinics do not apply, making it difficult to recruit health care professionals who would otherwise generously volunteer their time.
My bill would provide liability protection to volunteer health care providers at an organized community-based clinic offering health care services to individuals and families who cannot pay for their care, to medical assistance clients, or to residents of medically underserved areas or health-professional shortage areas. The protection would be extended to state health centers, nonprofit community-based clinics and Federally Qualified Health Centers, as designated by Federal rulemaking. Importantly, it would also allow for approval by the Department of Health or the Department of Human Services, creating a responsible pathway for clinics that cannot meet the onerous requirements to gain FCTA protection.
NOTE: the FTCA deeming requirements are at this link:
Please contact Joni Mitchell, in my office at 717-260-6166 or email@example.com if you would like to join me in sponsoring this legislation that improves the availability of health care services to people in need. If you would like a copy of the draft, let me know. Thank you for your consideration of this matter.
Introduced as HB1483