Introduced Version Senate Bill 656 History

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Senate Bill No. 656

(By Senators Stollings, Foster, Kirkendoll, Laird and Jenkins)


[Introduced February 20, 2012; referred to the Committee on Health and Human Resources.]





A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-1C-1, §16-1C-2, §16-1C-3, §16-1C-4 and §16-1C-5, all relating generally to requiring health care providers to wear identification badges; setting forth legislative findings and purpose; providing definitions; establishing identification badge requirements; addressing applicability; and granting rule-making authority.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-1C-1, §16-1C-2, §16-1C-3, §16-1C-4 and §16-1C-5, all to read as follows:


§16-1C-1. Legislative findings and purpose.

    (a) The Legislature finds that:

    (1) Patients receiving health care in this state need increased clarity and transparency with regard to the qualifications of health care providers.

    (2) There are widespread differences regarding the training and qualifications earned by health care providers. These differences often concern the training and skills necessary to correctly detect, diagnose, prevent and treat serious health conditions.

    (3) The reliability of the health care system is undermined and patients are put at risk, when patients are confused or mislead about the qualifications of health care providers to provide specific patient care.

    (b) The purpose of this article is to require health care providers to wear identification badges, clearly informing patients of their name, title and licensure information.

§16-1C-2. Definitions.

    (a) “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.

    (b) “Employee” means an employee of a health care facility or health care provider who delivers direct patient care.

    (c) "Health care facility" means a publicly or privately owned facility, agency or entity that offers or provides health care services, whether a for-profit or nonprofit entity and whether or not licensed, or required to be licensed, in whole or in part, and includes, but is not limited to, hospitals; skilled nursing facilities; kidney disease treatment centers, including free-standing hemodialysis units; intermediate care facilities; ambulatory health care facilities; ambulatory surgical facilities; home health agencies; hospice agencies; rehabilitation facilities; health maintenance organizations; and community mental health and intellectual disability facilities. For purposes of this definition, "community mental health and intellectual disability facility" means a private facility which provides such comprehensive services and continuity of care as emergency, outpatient, partial hospitalization, inpatient or consultation and education for individuals with mental illness, intellectual disability or drug or alcohol addiction.

    (d) "Health care provider" means a individual, partnership, corporation, facility, hospital or institution licensed or certified or authorized by law to provide professional health care service in this state to a patient during that patient's medical, remedial or behavioral health care, treatment or confinement.     (e) “Secretary” means the Secretary of the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. The secretary may define in rules any term or phrase used in this article which is not expressly defined.

§16-1C-3. Identification badge requirements.

     An employee shall wear an identification badge when providing direct patient care. The contents of the identification badge shall include the first and last name of the employee, title of the employee and licensure status, if any, of the employee. The identification badge shall be worn in a conspicuous manner so as to be visible and apparent.

§16-1C-4. Rules.

    (a) The Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources shall propose rules for legislative approval in accordance with the provisions of chapter twenty-nine-a of this code to implement the provisions of this article. These rules shall include, at a minimum:

    (1) The size of the identification badge, size of lettering on the identification badge and titles to be used to identify licensure status;

    (2) Exemptions from the requirements of this article and the procedure for seeking an exemption;

    (3) Penalties for violation of this article, including the assessment of civil penalties; and

    (4) Other requirements the secretary determines are appropriate.

    (b) The rules authorized by this section may be filed as emergency rules if considered necessary to promptly effectuate the purposes of this article.

§16-1C-5. Applicability.

    (a) The provisions of section three of this article apply to employees of health care providers and health care facilities, as of July 1, 2015.

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require health care providers to inform patients of their name, title and licensure information by wearing an identification badge when providing direct patient care. The bill grants the Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources rule-making authority to address exemptions and establishment of penalties for violations. The identification badge requirement is not applicable to health care providers until July 1, 2015.

    This is a new article; therefore, underscoring and strike-throughs have been omitted.

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