§ 8.01-581.13

Civil immunity for certain health professionals and health profession students serving as members of certain entities

A. For the purposes of this subsection, “health professional” means any clinical psychologist, applied psychologist, school psychologist, dentist, certified emergency medical services provider, licensed professional counselor, licensed substance abuse treatment practitioner, certified substance abuse counselor, certified substance abuse counseling assistant, licensed marriage and family therapist, nurse, optometrist, pharmacist, physician, chiropractor, podiatrist, or veterinarian who is actively engaged in the practice of his profession or any member of the Health Practitioners’ Monitoring Program Committee pursuant to Chapter 25.1 (§ 54.1-2515 et seq.) of Title 54.1.Unless such act, decision, or omission resulted from such health professional’s bad faith or malicious intent, any health professional, as defined in this subsection, shall be immune from civil liability for any act, decision or omission resulting from his duties as a member or agent of any entity which functions primarily (i) to investigate any complaint that a physical or mental impairment, including alcoholism or drug addiction, has impaired the ability of any such health professional to practice his profession and (ii) to encourage, recommend and arrange for a course of treatment or intervention, if deemed appropriate, or (iii) to review or monitor the duration of patient stays in health facilities, delivery of professional services, or the quality of care delivered in the statewide emergency medical services system for the purpose of promoting the most efficient use of available health facilities and services, the adequacy and quality of professional services, or the reasonableness or appropriateness of charges made by or on behalf of such health professionals. Such entity shall have been established pursuant to a federal or state law, or by one or more public or licensed private hospitals, or a relevant health professional society, academy or association affiliated with the American Medical Association, the American Dental Association, the American Pharmaceutical Association, the American Psychological Association, the American Podiatric Medical Association, the American Society of Hospitals and Pharmacies, the American Veterinary Medical Association, the American Association for Counseling and Development, the American Optometric Association, International Chiropractic Association, the American Chiropractic Association, the NAADAC: the Association for Addiction Professionals, the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy or a governmental agency.

B. For the purposes of this subsection, “health profession student” means a student in good standing who is enrolled in an accredited school, program, or curriculum in clinical psychology, counseling, dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, chiropractic, marriage and family therapy, substance abuse treatment, or veterinary medicine and has received training relating to substance abuse.Unless such act, decision, or omission resulted from such health profession student’s bad faith or malicious intent, any health profession student, as defined in this subsection, shall be immune from civil liability for any act, decision, or omission resulting from his duties as a member of an entity established by the institution of higher education in which he is enrolled or a professional student’s organization affiliated with such institution which functions primarily (i) to investigate any complaint of a physical or mental impairment, including alcoholism or drug addiction, of any health profession student and (ii) to encourage, recommend, and arrange for a course of treatment, if deemed appropriate.

C. The immunity provided hereunder shall not extend to any person with respect to actions, decisions or omissions, liability for which is limited under the provisions of the federal Social Security Act or amendments thereto.

History

Code 1950, § 8-654.6; 1975, c. 418; 1977, c. 617; 1983, c. 567; 1984, c. 494; 1987, c. 713; 1989, c. 729; 1992, c. 590; 1993, c. 702; 1995, c. 636; 1996, cc. 937, 980; 1997, cc. 439, 901; 2001, c. 460; 2006, cc. 412, 638; 2009, c. 472; 2015, cc. 502, 503.

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