House Bill (HB) 290, a bill passed in the Ohio General Assembly’s lame-duck session, to permit a patient with a terminal condition to be treated with a drug, product, or device that is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, contains a provision that permits certain health care professionals to satisfy a portion of their continuing education requirements by providing health care services without compensation to indigent and uninsured persons.
- The licensing agency requires licensees to complete continuing education as a condition of license renewal
- The health services are provided to an indigent and uninsured person
- The licensee provides the health services as a volunteer
- The licensee satisfies the requirements to qualify for immunity from liability for providing volunteer health care services to indigent and uninsured persons
- The health services provided are within the licensee’s scope of authority.
The bill requires licensing agencies to permit licensees to satisfy up to one-third of the licensee’s continuing education requirement by providing volunteer health care services to indigent and uninsured persons. A licensing agency must permit licensees to earn continuing education at a rate of one credit hour for each 60 minutes spent providing volunteer health care services.
The bill requires these licensing agencies to adopt rules to implement the continuing education provisions. The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians will monitor the rules drafting process, providing feedback as needed.
Continuing law gives health care professionals qualified immunity from liability for providing volunteer health care services to indigent and uninsured persons. To qualify as a volunteer, the health care professional must provide the services without receiving or expecting to receive any compensation or other form of remuneration.
The bill expressly states that receiving continuing education credit is not compensation or remuneration and does not make the health care professional ineligible for the immunity.