ASSEMBLY, No. 2178




DATED:  MAY 10, 2012


      The Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee reports favorably Assembly Bill No. 2178.

      This bill provides immunity from civil liability to certain retired physicians providing patient care or treatment at nonprofit free-standing clinics and federally qualified health centers (FQHCs) on a volunteer basis, and also provides immunity to these clinics and FQHCs with respect to the care or treatment provided by the physicians.

      The bill provides specifically as follows:

·    A volunteer physician, who provides patient care or treatment to patients at a nonprofit free-standing clinic that is not owned or controlled by a licensed health care facility or at a FQHC, and the clinic or FQHC and its trustees, directors, officers, employees, agents, and volunteers, as applicable, are immune from civil liability for personal injury, if the care or treatment was reasonably provided in good faith.

·    No immunity, however, is to be provided for gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct or the negligent operation of a motor vehicle.

·    The bill defines “volunteer physician” to mean a retired physician who remains licensed pursuant to chapter 9 of Title 45 of the Revised Statutes at the time of providing care or treatment pursuant to the bill and whose professional practice is limited to providing patient care or treatment exclusively without compensation or the expectation or promise of compensation.

·    A patient and the volunteer physician are to mutually agree to the provision of uncompensated patient care or treatment and the immunity granted under the bill prior to the rendering of the patient’s care or treatment.