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Chapter 16     Entire Code


ARTICLE 1. STATE PUBLIC HEALTH SYSTEM.

ARTICLE 1A. UNIFORM CREDENTIALING FOR HEALTH CARE PRACTITIONERS.

ARTICLE 1B. SKILLED NURSING FACILITIES FOR VETERANS OF THE UNITED STATES ARMED FORCES.

ARTICLE 1C. HEALTH CARE PROVIDER TRANSPARENCY ACT.

ARTICLE 2. LOCAL BOARDS OF HEALTH.

ARTICLE 2A. ALTERNATIVE METHOD OF ORGANIZING LOCAL HEALTH AGENCIES.

ARTICLE 2B. FAMILY PLANNING AND CHILD SPACING.

ARTICLE 2C. HOME HEALTH SERVICES.

ARTICLE 2D. CERTIFICATE OF NEED.

ARTICLE 2E. BIRTHING CENTERS.

ARTICLE 2F. PARENTAL NOTIFICATION OF ABORTIONS PERFORMED ON UNEMANCIPATED MINORS.

ARTICLE 2G. SPECIAL SUPPLEMENTARY FOOD PROGRAM FOR WOMEN, INFANTS AND CHILDREN (WIC).

ARTICLE 2H. PRIMARY CARE SUPPORT PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 2I. WOMEN\'S RIGHT TO KNOW ACT.

ARTICLE 2J. PREVENTIVE CARE PILOT PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 2K. PROGRAMS OF ALL-INCLUSIVE CARE FOR THE ELDERLY, \"PACE\".

ARTICLE 2L. PROVIDER SPONSORED NETWORKS.

ARTICLE 2M. THE PAIN-CAPABLE UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION ACT.

ARTICLE 2N. NEONATAL ABSTINENCE CENTERS.

ARTICLE 2O. UNBORN CHILD PROTECTION FROM DISMEMBERMENT ABORTION ACT.

ARTICLE 3. PREVENTION AND CONTROL OF COMMUNICABLE AND OTHER INFECTIOUS DISEASES.

ARTICLE 3A. REPOSITORY OF INFORMATION ON MEDICAL TREATMENT FOR CERTAIN HAZARDOUS MATERIALS; REQUEST FOR INFORMATION; PENALTIES; ENFORCEMENT.

ARTICLE 3B. PERTUSSIS.

ARTICLE 3C. AIDS-RELATED MEDICAL TESTING AND RECORDS CONFIDENTIALITY ACT.

ARTICLE 3D. TUBERCULOSIS TESTING, CONTROL, TREATMENT AND COMMITMENT.

ARTICLE 4. SEXUALLY TRANSMITTED DISEASES.

ARTICLE 4A. PRENATAL EXAMINATION.

ARTICLE 4B. AUTOPSIES ON BODIES OF DECEASED PERSONS.

ARTICLE 4C. EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES ACT.

ARTICLE 4D. AUTOMATED EXTERNAL DEFIBRILLATORS.

ARTICLE 4E. UNIFORM MATERNAL SCREENING ACT.

ARTICLE 4F. EXPEDITED PARTNER THERAPY.

ARTICLE 5. VITAL STATISTICS.

ARTICLE 5A. CANCER CONTROL.

ARTICLE 5B. HOSPITALS AND SIMILAR INSTITUTIONS.

ARTICLE 5C. NURSING HOMES.

ARTICLE 5D. ASSISTED LIVING RESIDENCES.

ARTICLE 5E. REGISTRATION AND INSPECTION OF SERVICE PROVIDERS IN LEGALLY UNLICENSED HEALTH CARE HOMES.

ARTICLE 5F. HEALTH CARE FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE.

ARTICLE 5G. OPEN HOSPITAL PROCEEDINGS.

ARTICLE 5H. CHRONIC PAIN CLINIC LICENSING ACT.

ARTICLE 5I. HOSPICE LICENSURE ACT.

ARTICLE 5J. CLINICAL LABORATORIES QUALITY ASSURANCE ACT.

ARTICLE 5K. EARLY INTERVENTION SERVICES FOR CHILDREN WITH DEVELOPMENTAL DELAYS.

ARTICLE 5L. LONG-TERM CARE OMBUDSMAN PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 5M. OSTEOPOROSIS PREVENTION EDUCATION ACT.

ARTICLE 5N. RESIDENTIAL CARE COMMUNITIES.

ARTICLE 5O. MEDICATION ADMINISTRATION BY UNLICENSED PERSONNEL.

ARTICLE 5P. SENIOR SERVICES.

ARTICLE 5Q. THE JAMES \"TIGER\" MORTON CATASTROPHIC ILLNESS FUND.

ARTICLE 5R. THE ALZHEIMER\'S SPECIAL CARE STANDARDS ACT.

ARTICLE 5S. OLDER WEST VIRGINIANS ACT.

ARTICLE 5T. OFFICE OF DRUG CONTROL POLICY.

ARTICLE 5U. ARTHRITIS PREVENTION EDUCATION ACT.

ARTICLE 5V. EMERGENCY MEDICAL SERVICES RETIREMENT SYSTEM ACT.

ARTICLE 5W. WEST VIRGINIA OFFICIAL PRESCRIPTION PROGRAM ACT.

ARTICLE 5X. CAREGIVER ADVISE, RECORD AND ENABLE ACT.

ARTICLE 5Y. MEDICATION-ASSISTED TREATMENT PROGRAM LICENSING ACT.

ARTICLE 5Z. COALITION FOR DIABETES MANAGEMENT.

ARTICLE 6. HOTELS AND RESTAURANTS.

ARTICLE 7. PURE FOOD AND DRUGS.

ARTICLE 8. ELECTROLOGISTS.

ARTICLE 8A. NARCOTIC DRUGS.

ARTICLE 8B. DANGEROUS DRUGS ACT.

ARTICLE 9. OFFENSES GENERALLY.

ARTICLE 9A. TOBACCO USAGE RESTRICTIONS.

ARTICLE 9B. IMPLEMENTING TOBACCO MASTER SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.

ARTICLE 9C. STATE TOBACCO GROWERS\' SETTLEMENT BOARD.

ARTICLE 9D. ENFORCEMENT OF STATUTES IMPLEMENTING TOBACCO MASTER SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT.

ARTICLE 9E. DELIVERY SALES OF TOBACCO.

ARTICLE 9F. COUNTERFEIT CIGARETTES.

ARTICLE 10. UNIFORM DETERMINATION OF DEATH ACT.

ARTICLE 11. SEXUAL STERILIZATION.

ARTICLE 12. SANITARY DISTRICTS FOR SEWAGE DISPOSAL.

ARTICLE 13. SEWAGE WORKS AND STORMWATER WORKS.

ARTICLE 13A. PUBLIC SERVICE DISTRICTS.

ARTICLE 13B. COMMUNITY IMPROVEMENT ACT.

ARTICLE 13C. DRINKING WATER TREATMENT REVOLVING FUND ACT.

ARTICLE 13D. REGIONAL WATER AND WASTEWATER AUTHORITY ACT.

ARTICLE 13E. COMMUNITY ENHANCEMENT ACT.

ARTICLE 14. BARBERS AND COSMETOLOGISTS.

ARTICLE 15. STATE HOUSING LAW.

ARTICLE 16. HOUSING COOPERATION LAW.

ARTICLE 17. NATIONAL DEFENSE HOUSING.

ARTICLE 18. SLUM CLEARANCE.

ARTICLE 19. ANATOMICAL GIFT ACT.

ARTICLE 20. AIR POLLUTION CONTROL.

ARTICLE 21. BLOOD DONATIONS.

ARTICLE 22. DETECTION AND CONTROL OF PHENYLKETONURIA, GALACTOSEMIA, HYPOTHYROIDISM, AND CERTAIN OTHER DISEASES IN NEWBORN CHILDREN.

ARTICLE 22A. TESTING OF NEWBORN INFANTS FOR HEARING IMPAIRMENTS.

ARTICLE 22B. BIRTH SCORE PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 23. TRANSFUSION OF BLOOD; TRANSPLANTING HUMAN ORGANS OR TISSUE.

ARTICLE 24. STATE HEMOPHILIA PROGRAM.

ARTICLE 25. DETECTION OF TUBERCULOSIS, HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE AND DIABETES.

ARTICLE 26. WEST VIRGINIA SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT BOARD.

ARTICLE 27. STORAGE AND DISPOSAL OF RADIOACTIVE WASTE MATERIALS.

ARTICLE 27A. BAN ON CONSTRUCTION OF NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS.

ARTICLE 28. ASSISTANCE TO KOREAN AND VIETNAM VETERANS EXPOSED TO CERTAIN CHEMICAL DEFOLIANTS OR HERBICIDES OR OTHER CAUSATIVE AGENTS, INCLUDING AGENT ORANGE.

ARTICLE 29. HEALTH CARE RECORDS.

ARTICLE 29A. WEST VIRGINIA HOSPITAL FINANCE AUTHORITY ACT.

ARTICLE 29B. HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY.

ARTICLE 29C. INDIGENT CARE.

ARTICLE 29D. STATE HEALTH CARE.

ARTICLE 29E. LEGISLATIVE OVERSIGHT COMMISSION ON HEALTH AND HUMAN RESOURCES ACCOUNTABILITY.

ARTICLE 29F. UNINSURED AND UNDERINSURED PILOT PROGRAMS.

ARTICLE 29G. WEST VIRGINIA HEALTH INFORMATION NETWORK.

ARTICLE 29H. INTERAGENCY HEALTH COUNCIL.

ARTICLE 29I. WEST VIRGINIA HEALTH CARE AUTHORITY REVOLVING LOAN AND GRANT FUND.

ARTICLE 30. WEST VIRGINIA HEALTH CARE DECISIONS ACT.

ARTICLE 30A. MEDICAL POWER OF ATTORNEY.

ARTICLE 30B. HEALTH CARE SURROGATE ACT.

ARTICLE 30C. DO NOT RESUSCITATE ACT.

ARTICLE 31. COMMUNITY RIGHT TO KNOW.

ARTICLE 32. ASBESTOS ABATEMENT.

ARTICLE 33. BREAST AND CERVICAL CANCER PREVENTION AND CONTROL ACT.

ARTICLE 34. LICENSURE OF RADON MITIGATORS, TESTERS, CONTRACTORS AND LABORATORIES.

ARTICLE 35. LEAD ABATEMENT.

ARTICLE 36. NEEDLESTICK INJURY PREVENTION.

ARTICLE 37. BODY PIERCING STUDIO BUSINESS.

ARTICLE 38. TATTOO STUDIO BUSINESS.

ARTICLE 40. STATEWIDE BIRTH DEFECTS INFORMATION SYSTEM.

ARTICLE 41. ORAL HEALTH IMPROVEMENT ACT.

ARTICLE 42. COMPREHENSIVE BEHAVIORAL HEALTH COMMISSION.

ARTICLE 43. ENGINE COOLANT AND ANTIFREEZE.

ARTICLE 44. THE PULSE OXIMETRY NEWBORN TESTING ACT.

ARTICLE 45. TANNING FACILITIES.

ARTICLE 46. ACCESS TO OPIOID ANTAGONISTS ACT.

ARTICLE 47. ALCOHOL AND DRUG OVERDOSE PREVENTION AND CLEMENCY ACT.

ARTICLE 48. WEST VIRGINIA ABLE ACT.

ARTICLE 49. WEST VIRGINIA CLEARANCE FOR ACCESS: REGISTRY AND EMPLOYMENT SCREENING ACT.

ARTICLE 50. EPINEPHRINE AUTO-INJECTOR AVAILABILITY AND USE.

ARTICLE 51. RIGHT TO TRY ACT.

ARTICLE 52. COALITION FOR RESPONSIBLE PAIN MANAGEMENT.

ARTICLE 53. ESTABLISHING ADDITIONAL SUBSTANCE ABUSE TREATMENT FACILITIES.

ARTICLE 54. OPIOID REDUCTION ACT.

ARTICLE 54. STATE ADVISORY COALITION ON PALLIATIVE CARE.

ARTICLE 39. PATIENT SAFETY ACT.

§16-39-1. Short title.

This article may be cited as the "Patient Safety Act of 2001."

§16-39-2. Legislative findings and purpose.

(a) The Legislature finds that:

(1) Patients receiving medical care in this state need stable and consistent care from those providing health care services at every level;

(2) Dedicated health care workers are instrumental in providing quality patient care services and ensuring that the patient's best interests are at all times protected;

(3) During the course of caring for their patients, many health care workers often observe instances of waste or wrongdoing that detrimentally affect both the patients and the health care facility;

(4) Health care workers who observe such matters are often reluctant to report the waste or wrongdoing to the administrator of the health care facility or other appropriate authority for fear of retaliatory or discriminatory treatment through termination, demotion, reduction of time, wages or benefits or other such actions; and

(5) The quality of available health care will suffer in this state if dedicated health care workers are discouraged from reporting instances of waste or wrongdoing that affect the quality of health care delivery in this state.

(b) Consequently, the Legislature intends by enacting this article to protect patients by providing protections for those health care workers with whom the patient has the most direct contact.

§16-39-3. Definitions.

For purposes of this article:

(1) "Appropriate authority" means a federal, state, county or municipal government body, agency or organization having jurisdiction over criminal law enforcement, regulatory violations, professional conduct or ethics, or waste or any member, officer, agent, representative or supervisory employee thereof.

(2) "Commissioner" means the commissioner of the division of health;

(3) "Direct patient care" means health care that provides for the physical, diagnostic, emotional or rehabilitational needs of a patient or health care that involves examination, treatment or preparation for diagnostic tests or procedures.

(4) "Discrimination or retaliation" includes any threat, intimidation, discharge or any adverse change in a health care worker's position, location, compensation, benefits, privileges or terms or conditions of employment that occurs as a result of a health care worker engaging in any action protected by this article.

(5) "Good faith report" means a report of conduct defined in this article as wrongdoing or waste that is made without malice or consideration of personal benefit and which the person making the report has reasonable cause to believe is true.

(6) "Health care entity" includes a health care facility, such as a hospital, clinic, nursing facility or other provider of health care services.

(7) "Health care worker" means a person who provides direct patient care to patients of a health care entity and who is an employee of the health care entity, a subcontractor or independent contractor for the health care entity, or an employee of such subcontractor or independent contractor. The term includes, but is not limited to, a nurse, nurse's aide, laboratory technician, physician, intern, resident, physician assistant, physical therapist or other such person who provides direct patient care.

(8) "Waste" means the conduct, act or omission by a health care entity that results in substantial abuse, misuse, destruction or loss of funds, resources or property belonging to a patient, a health care entity or any federal or state program.

(9) "Wrongdoing" means a violation of any law, rule, regulation or generally recognized professional or clinical standard that relates to care, services or conditions and which potentially endangers one or more patients or workers or the public.

§16-39-4. Prohibition against discrimination or retaliation.

(a) No person may retaliate or discriminate in any manner against any health care worker because the worker, or any person acting on behalf of the worker:

(1) Makes a good faith report, or is about to report, verbally or in writing, to the health care entity or appropriate authority an instance of wrongdoing or waste.

(2) Advocated on behalf of a patient or patients with respect to the care, services or conditions of a health care entity;

(3) Initiated, cooperated or otherwise participated in any investigation or proceeding of any governmental entity relating to the care, services or conditions of a health care entity.

(b) A health care worker with respect to the conduct described is acting in good faith if the health care worker reasonably believes:

(1) That the information is true; and

(2) Constitutes waste or wrongdoing as defined in section three of this article.

§16-39-5. Confidentiality of complaints to government agencies.

The identity of a health care worker who complains in good faith to a government agency or department about the quality of care, services or conditions of a health care entity or any waste or wrongdoing by the health care entity shall remain confidential and may not be disclosed by any person except upon the knowing written consent of the health care worker and except in the case in which there is imminent danger to health or public safety or an imminent violation of criminal law.

§16-39-6. Enforcement.

(a) Any health care worker who believes that he or she has been retaliated or discriminated against in violation of section four of this article may file a civil action in any court of competent jurisdiction against the health care entity and the person believed to have violated section four of this article.

(b) A court, in rendering a judgment for a complainant in an action brought under this article, shall order, as the court considers appropriate, reinstatement of the health care worker, the payment of back wages, full reinstatement of fringe benefits and seniority rights, actual damages or any combination of these remedies. A court may also award the complainant, all or a portion of the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorneys fees and witness fees, if the court determines that the award is appropriate.

(c) An action may be brought under this subsection not later than two years after the date of the last event constituting the alleged violation for which the action is brought.

§16-39-7. Notice.

Each health care entity shall post and keep posted, in conspicuous places on the premises of the health care entity where notices to employees and applicants for employment are customarily posted, a notice, to be prepared or approved by the commissioner, setting forth excerpts from, or summaries of, the pertinent provisions of this article and information pertaining to the filing of a charge under section four of this article.

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