2021 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Human Services
By: Representative McLean
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS TO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE SERVICES FOR PRIMARY CARE, MENTAL HEALTH OR DENTAL CARE THROUGH THE USE OF TELEMEDICINE TO MISSISSIPPI RESIDENTS THAT LIVE IN AN AREA DESIGNATED A HEALTH PROFESSIONAL SHORTAGE AREA; TO PROVIDE THAT THIS AUTHORITY APPLIES TO HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS LICENSED UNDER A COMPARABLE PROVISION OF THE LAW OF ANOTHER STATE, TERRITORY, DISTRICT OR POSSESSION OF THE UNITED STATES; TO PROVIDE THAT LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS WHO PROVIDE HEALTH CARE SERVICES TO A PERSON UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF THIS ACT SHALL BE IMMUNE FROM LIABILITY FOR ANY CIVIL ACTION ARISING OUT OF THE PROVISION OF SUCH HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN GOOD FAITH ON A CHARITABLE BASIS; TO AMEND SECTIONS 41-127-1, 73-25-19 AND 73-25-34, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO CONFORM TO THE PRECEDING PROVISIONS; TO BRING FORWARD SECTION 73-25-38, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, WHICH PROVIDES IMMUNITY FROM LIABILITY FOR PROVIDING CERTAIN HEALTH CARE SERVICES IN GOOD FAITH, FOR THE PURPOSES OF POSSIBLE AMENDMENT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, a licensed health care provider may provide health care services for primary care, mental health or dental care through the use of interactive audio, video or other electronic media to Mississippi residents that live in an area designated a health professional shortage area.
(a) This section does not apply to a health care provider whose license or certificate is suspended or revoked pursuant to disciplinary proceedings in any jurisdiction, but does apply to a health care provider licensed under a comparable provision of the law of another state, territory, district or possession of the United States.
(b) This section does not apply to a licensed health care provider who renders services outside the scope of practice authorized by the health care providerís licensure, certification or exception to that licensure or certification.
(c) A licensed health care provider who provides health care services to a person under the authority of this section shall be immune from liability for any civil action arising out of the provision of such health care services in good faith on a charitable basis, as provided in Section 73-25-38(1).
SECTION 2. Section 41-127-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
41-127-1. Subject to the limitations of the license under which the individual is practicing, a health care practitioner licensed in this state, or a nonresident health care practitioner who is practicing under the authority provided in Section 1 of this act, may prescribe, dispense, or administer drugs or medical supplies, or otherwise provide treatment recommendations to a patient after having performed an appropriate examination of the patient either in person or by the use of instrumentation and diagnostic equipment through which images and medical records may be transmitted electronically. Treatment recommendations made via electronic means, including issuing a prescription via electronic means, shall be held to the same standards of appropriate practice as those in traditional provider-patient settings.
SECTION 3. Section 73-25-19, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-25-19. Nonresident physicians not holding a license from the state shall not be permitted to practice medicine under any circumstances after remaining in the state for five (5) days, except when called in consultation by a licensed physician residing in this state or except as authorized under Sections 73-25-121 through 73-25-127. This section shall not apply to:
(a) Any nonresident physician who holds a temporary license to practice medicine at a youth camp issued under the provisions of Section 75-74-8 and Section 73-25-17; or
(b) A nonresident physician who is practicing medicine under the authority provided in Section 1 of this act.
SECTION 4. Section 73-25-34, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
73-25-34. (1) For the purposes of this section, telemedicine, or the practice of medicine across state lines, shall be defined to include any one or both of the following:
(a) Rendering of a medical opinion concerning diagnosis or treatment of a patient within this state by a physician located outside this state as a result of transmission of individual patient data by electronic or other means from within this state to such physician or his agent; or
(b) The rendering of treatment to a patient within this state by a physician located outside this state as a result of transmission of individual patient data by electronic or other means from within this state to such physician or his agent.
(2) Except as hereinafter provided, no person shall engage in the practice of medicine across state lines (telemedicine) in this state, hold himself out as qualified to do the same, or use any title, word or abbreviation to indicate to or induce others to believe that he is duly licensed to practice medicine across state lines in this state unless he has first obtained a license to do so from the State Board of Medical Licensure and has met all educational and licensure requirements as determined by the State Board of Medical Licensure.
(3) The requirement of
licensure as set forth in subsection (2) * * *
of this section shall not be
required where the evaluation, treatment and/or the medical opinion to be
rendered by a physician outside this state (a) is requested by a physician duly
licensed to practice medicine in this state, and (b) the physician who has
requested such evaluation, treatment and/or medical opinion has already
established a doctor/patient relationship with the patient to be evaluated
and/or treated. In addition, the requirement of licensure as set forth in
subsection (2) of this section shall not be required for a nonresident
physician who is practicing medicine under the authority provided in Section 1
of this act.
SECTION 5. Section 73-25-38, Mississippi Code of 1972, is brought forward as follows:
73-25-38. (1) Any licensed physician, physician assistant or certified nurse practitioner who voluntarily provides needed medical or health services to any person without the expectation of payment due to the inability of such person to pay for said services shall be immune from liability for any civil action arising out of the provision of such medical or health services provided in good faith on a charitable basis. This section shall not extend immunity to acts of willful or gross negligence. Except in cases of rendering emergency care wherein the provisions of Section 73-25-37 apply, immunity under this section shall be extended only if the physician, physician assistant or certified nurse practitioner and patient execute a written waiver in advance of the rendering of such medical services specifying that such services are provided without the expectation of payment and that the licensed physician or certified nurse practitioner shall be immune as provided in this subsection. The immunity from liability granted by this subsection also shall extend to actions arising from a church-operated outpatient medical clinic that exists solely for the purpose of providing charitable medical services to persons who are unable to pay for such services, provided that the outpatient clinic receives less than Forty Thousand Dollars ($40,000.00) annually in patient payments.
(2) Any licensed physician, physician assistant or certified nurse practitioner assisting with emergency management, emergency operations or hazard mitigation in response to any emergency, man-made or natural disaster, who voluntarily provides needed medical or health services to any person without fee or other compensation, shall not be liable for civil damages on the basis of any act or omission if the physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner was acting in good faith and within the scope of their license, education and training and the acts or omissions were not caused from gross, willful or wanton acts of negligence.
(3) Any physician who voluntarily renders any medical service under a special volunteer medical license authorized under Section 73-25-18 without any payment or compensation or the expectation or promise of any payment or compensation shall be immune from liability for any civil action arising out of any act or omission resulting from the rendering of the medical service unless the act or omission was the result of the physician's gross negligence or willful misconduct. In order for the immunity under this subsection to apply, there must be a written or oral agreement for the physician to provide a voluntary noncompensated medical service before the rendering of the service by the physician.
(4) Any licensed physician, or any physician who is retired from active practice and who has been previously issued an unrestricted license to practice medicine in any state of the United States or who has been issued a special volunteer medical license under Section 73-25-18, shall be immune from liability for any civil action arising out of any medical care or treatment provided while voluntarily serving as "doctor of the day" for members of the Mississippi State Legislature, legislative or other state employees, or any visitors to the State Capitol on the date of such service. This subsection shall not extend immunity to acts of willful or gross negligence or misconduct.
SECTION 6. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2021.