Bill Text: NJ A1361 | 2018-2019 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Establishes guidelines for termination of patient-health care professional relationship.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2018-01-09 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee [A1361 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2018-A1361-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 1361

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

218th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2018 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JAMES J. KENNEDY

District 22 (Middlesex, Somerset and Union)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Establishes guidelines for termination of patient-health care professional relationship.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning health care professionals and supplementing Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    As used in P.L.    c.    (C.        ) (pending before the Legislature as this bill):

     "Emergency care or service" means the provision of medical care or services to an individual in circumstances where the life or health of the individual may be threatened or compromised unless timely medical care is provided.

     "Licensee" means any person licensed or authorized to engage in a health care profession which is overseen by the Board of Medical Examiners pursuant to Title 45 of the Revised Statutes.

     "Licensee-patient relationship" means an association between a licensee and patient wherein the licensee owes a continuing duty to the patient to be available to render professional services consistent with his or her training, experience, and current scope of practice.

     The licensee-patient relationship shall be deemed to exist where the licensee has provided services to the patient within one year preceding the date on which care is to be terminated or in such other circumstances where a patient has indicated to the licensee that the patient anticipates that the licensee will provide continued professional services to the patient.

     "Patient" means any person who is the recipient of a professional service rendered by a licensee for purposes of diagnosis, treatment, or a consultation relating to treatment.

 

     2.    a.  A licensee shall adhere to the following requirements to terminate a licensee-patient relationship:

     (1)   notify the patient, in writing, that the licensee shall no longer provide care to the patient as of a date certain. The notification required by this paragraph shall be made no less than 30 days prior to the date on which care is to be terminated, and shall be made by certified mail, return receipt requested, or other proof of delivery, sent to the last known address of the patient;

     (2)   provide all necessary emergency care or services, including the provision of necessary prescriptions, until the date on which services are terminated. The provision of any such emergency care or services shall not be deemed to manifest any intention to reestablish a licensee-patient relationship; and

     (3)   comply with all requirements set forth by the Board of Medical Examiners for access to and transfer of patient records.

     b.    Notwithstanding subsection a. of this section, a licensee shall not terminate a licensee-patient relationship if the following circumstances exist:

     (1)   where to do so would constitute a violation of the "Law Against Discrimination," P.L.1945, c.169 (C.10:5-1 et seq.) or any federal laws or rules prohibiting discrimination;

     (2)   where the licensee knows, or reasonably should know, that no other licensee is currently able to provide the type of care or services that the licensee is providing to the patient; or

     (3)   where the patient is unable to be compliant with the licensees' rules and regulations due to issues relating to the behavioral health status of the patient. 

     c.     A licensee need not comply with the requirements set forth in subsection a. if:

     (1)   the licensee-patient relationship has been terminated by the patient as evidenced by conduct manifesting a deliberate intention to terminate the relationship; or

     (2)   the reason for the termination of an ongoing licensee-patient relationship is because the licensee has discontinued providing services to a particular carrier which offers a managed care plan, in which the patient is enrolled and such carrier has discharged its notice obligation pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1997, c.192 (C.26:2S-5).

     d.    When requested by the patient, the licensee shall make reasonable efforts to assist the patient in obtaining medical services from another licensee qualified to meet the patient's medical needs.

 

     3.    The Board of Medical Examiners shall, in accordance with the "Administrative Procedure Act," P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), adopt such rules and regulations as necessary to carry out the purposes of this act.

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill establishes the parameters in which a health care professional can terminate a professional relationship with a patient. For purposes of the bill, health care professional is defined as an individual who is licensed to engage in a health care profession which is overseen by the Board of Medical Examiners.

     The bill requires the health care professional to contact the patient in writing no less than 30 days prior to the date on which the care is to be terminated.  The health care professional is required to continue to provide all necessary emergency care or services until the date on which services are terminated and to ensure the patient's records are transferred according to regulations established by the Board of Medical Examiners.

     The health care professional cannot terminate a relationship with a patient under the following circumstances: where to do so would violate any laws or rules prohibiting discrimination; where the licensee knows, or reasonably should know, that no other licensee is currently able to provide the type of care or services that the licensee is providing to the patient; or where the patient is unable to be compliant with the licensees' rules and regulations due to issues relating to the behavioral health status of the patient.

     The health care professional does not need to contact the patient if the licensee-patient relationship has been terminated by the patient; or the licensee has discontinued providing services to a particular carrier which offers a managed care plan, in which the patient is enrolled and such carrier has discharged its notice obligation pursuant to section 5 of P.L.1997, c.192 (C.26:2S-5).

     When requested by the patient, the licensee shall make reasonable efforts to assist the patient in obtaining medical services from another licensee qualified to meet the patient's medical needs.

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