Enrolled HB 260: Relating to immunity for free health care services provided by certain health care providers; and providing for an effective date.
00Enrolled HB 260 01 Relating to immunity for free health care services provided by certain health care providers; 02 and providing for an effective date. 03 _______________ 04 * Section 1. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section 05 to read: 06 SHORT TITLE. This Act may be known as the Volunteer Health Care Provider 07 Immunity Act of 2004. 08 * Sec. 2. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 09 read: 10 FINDINGS. The legislature finds that 11 (1) many of the state's most senior and experienced physicians will be retiring 12 in the next five to 10 years; retiring physicians deciding to reside in Alaska could continue to 13 benefit our local communities by volunteering their medical services; 14 (2) historically, Alaska has had difficulty in attracting and maintaining
01 adequate numbers of qualified physicians; currently, Alaska ranks 49th in the number of 02 physicians per capita, while Alaska's physicians continue to grow older, reaching an average 03 age of 51 years; 04 (3) without civil liability protection, retired physicians would be unwilling to 05 provide free services to the indigent and elderly; 06 (4) 43 states have enacted legislation limiting liability for retired physicians, 07 thus encouraging retired physicians to continue in providing voluntary medical services; and 08 (5) removing liability requirements for retired physicians would be in the best 09 interests of the state; retired physicians unhindered by expensive malpractice insurance would 10 be more inclined to volunteer necessary and important medical services to all Alaskans. 11 * Sec. 3. AS 09.65 is amended by adding a new section to read: 12 Sec. 09.65.300. Immunity for providing free health care services. (a) 13 Except as otherwise provided in this section, a health care provider who provides 14 health care services to another person is not liable for civil damages resulting from an 15 act or omission in providing the health care services if the health care 16 (1) provider is licensed in this state to provide health care services; 17 (2) services provided were within the scope of the health care 18 provider's license; 19 (3) services were provided at a medical clinic, medical facility, 20 nonprofit facility, temporary emergency site, or other facility owned or operated by a 21 governmental entity or nonprofit organization and the health care provider was acting 22 within the scope of the provider's responsibilities in the medical clinic, governmental 23 entity, or nonprofit organization; 24 (4) services were provided voluntarily and without pay to the health 25 care provider for the services, except as provided in (b)(2) and (3) of this section; and 26 (5) provider 27 (A) obtains informed consent from the person receiving the 28 health care services as described under AS 09.55.556, except in the case of an 29 emergency; and 30 (B) provides the person receiving the health care services 31 advance written notice of the immunity provided under this section to a health
01 care provider when providing voluntary health care services as described under 02 this section. 03 (b) This section does not preclude 04 (1) liability for civil damages that are the result of gross negligence or 05 reckless or intentional misconduct; 06 (2) a health care provider from receiving payment or being reimbursed 07 for expenses, including travel and room and board while providing voluntary services; 08 (3) a medical clinic or facility from charging for its services. 09 (c) In this section, 10 (1) "health care provider" means a state licensed physician, physician 11 assistant, dentist, dental hygienist, osteopath, optometrist, chiropractor, registered 12 nurse, practical nurse, nurse midwife, advanced nurse practitioner, naturopath, 13 physical therapist, occupational therapist, marital and family therapist, psychologist, 14 psychological associate, licensed clinical social worker, or certified direct-entry 15 midwife; 16 (2) "health care services" means services received by an individual in 17 order to treat or to prevent illness or injury; 18 (3) "nonprofit organization" means an organization that qualifies for 19 exemption from taxation under 26 U.S.C. 501(c)(3) or (4) (Internal Revenue Code). 20 * Sec. 4. The uncodified law of the State of Alaska is amended by adding a new section to 21 read: 22 APPLICABILITY. This Act applies to a cause of action that accrues on or after the 23 effective date of this Act. 24 * Sec. 5. This Act takes effect immediately under AS 01.10.070(c).