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BILL AS INTRODUCED 2007-2008

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H.112

Introduced by Representatives Chen of Mendon, Johnson of South Hero, Keenan of St. Albans City, Pellett of Chester and Shand of Weathersfield

Referred to Committee on

Date:

Subject:  Health; communicable and infectious disease; testing; health care provider; public safety personnel

Statement of purpose:  This bill proposes to require informed consent in order to test for communicable and infectious diseases except in the case in which health care workers or public safety personnel have been significantly exposed to the bodily fluids of an individual suspected of possible disease infection.

AN ACT RELATING TO PROTECTION OF HEALTH CARE AND PUBLIC SAFETY PERSONNEL FROM COMMUNICABLE DISEASE

It is hereby enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Vermont:

Sec. 1.  18 V.S.A. § 1128 is amended to read:

§ 1128.  ACCESS TO HEALTH SERVICES AND INFORMED CONSENT

              FOR COMMUNICABLE DISEASE TESTING

* * *

(b)  Failure of a health care provider to comply with any provision of this section shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action or any other regulatory action authorized by law.  Failure of a health care facility to comply with any provision of this section shall constitute grounds for modification, suspension or revocation of the facility’s license, authority to operate, or any other regulatory action authorized by law.  Any such regulatory action shall be taken in accordance with the disciplinary, licensing or other procedures established by law for the board or agency having jurisdiction over the health care provider or facility.

(c)  A person aggrieved by a violation of this section or the attorney general on behalf of such a person may bring an action for injunctive relief and damages in the superior court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred.  The court may award costs and reasonable attorney’s fees to an aggrieved person who prevails in an action brought under this subsection.

(b)  Notwithstanding subsection (a) of this section, the health care provider may order a test for a blood-borne disease without the patient’s prior consent if a health care worker, public safety personnel, or emergency personnel have been exposed to the blood or bodily fluids of a patient suspected of infection of a blood-borne disease in a manner sufficient to transmit the disease to the affected worker or personnel engaged in rendering health services to the patient, and the patient has been given an opportunity to be tested with consent and has not consented, is incapable of providing consent, or is deceased.

(c)  The results of a test ordered pursuant to subsection (b) of this section shall be confidential except that the health care worker, public safety personnel, or emergency personnel who sustained the exposure, the health care provider who ordered the test, and the patient shall be informed of the test results.

(d)  The patient and the health care worker, public safety personnel, or emergency personnel shall be given an opportunity to receive follow-up testing and appropriate counseling.

(e)  All records pertaining to testing performed pursuant to this provision shall be recorded in a place other than the patient’s medical record and maintained in the location where the test is performed.

(f)  The costs of all diagnostic tests authorized by these provisions shall be borne by the employer of the health care worker, public safety personnel, or emergency personnel.

(g)  As used in this section:

(1)  “Blood-borne disease” means a disease which is readily transferable through blood or bodily fluids.

(2)  “Emergency personnel” shall have the same meaning as in section 3171 of Title 20, but shall also include members of a ski patrol.

(3)  “Health care provider” shall have the same meaning as in subdivision 9432(8) of this title.

(4)  “Health care worker” means any individual or employee of a health care provider who provides medical or other health services in the course of the worker’s employment.

(5)  “Health services” means activities and functions that are directly related to care, treatment, or diagnosis of a patient, including emergency medical services.

(6)  “Public safety personnel” means an individual employed or volunteering for a fire department, police department, or ambulance service.

Sec. 2.  18 V.S.A. § 1128a is added to read:

§ 1128a.  PENALTIES

(a)  Failure of a health care provider to comply with any provision of section 1128 of this title shall constitute grounds for disciplinary action or any other regulatory action authorized by law.  Failure of a health care facility to comply with any provision of section 1128 shall constitute grounds for modification, suspension, or revocation of the facility’s license, authority to operate, or any other regulatory action authorized by law.  Any such regulatory action shall be taken in accordance with the disciplinary, licensing, or other procedures established by law for the board or agency having jurisdiction over the health care provider or facility.

(b)  A person aggrieved by a violation of section 1128 of this title or the attorney general on behalf of such a person may bring an action for injunctive relief and damages in the superior court of the county in which the violation is alleged to have occurred.  The court may award costs and reasonable attorney’s fees to an aggrieved person who prevails in an action brought under this subsection.



Published by:

The Vermont General Assembly
115 State Street
Montpelier, Vermont


www.leg.state.vt.us