S-1976               _______________________________________________


                                         SUBSTITUTE SENATE BILL NO. 5501



                                                                            C 157 L 89



State of Washington                               51st Legislature                              1989 Regular Session


By Senate Committee on Health Care & Corrections (originally sponsored by Senators West, Wojahn, Niemi, Johnson and Amondson; by request of Department of Corrections)



Read first time 2/17/89.



AN ACT Relating to indemnification of contract providers of health care services to the department of corrections; and adding a new chapter to Title 72 RCW.




          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 1.     It is the intent of the legislature that inmates in the custody of the department of corrections receive such basic medical services as may be mandated by the federal Constitution and the Constitution of the state of Washington.  Notwithstanding any other laws, it is the further intent of the legislature that the department of corrections may contract directly with any persons, firms, agencies, or corporations qualified to provide such services.  Nothing in this chapter is to be construed to authorize a reduction in state employment in service component areas presently rendering such services or to preclude work typically and historically performed by department employees.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 2.     As used in this chapter:

          (1) "Department" means the department of corrections.

          (2) "Health care practitioner" means an individual or firm licensed or certified to actively engage in a regulated health profession.

          (3) "Health profession" means and includes those licensed or regulated professions set forth in RCW 18.120.020(4).

          (4) "Health care facility" means any hospital, hospice care center, licensed or certified health care facility, health maintenance organization regulated under chapter 48.46 RCW, federally qualified health maintenance organization, renal dialysis center or facility federally approved under 42 CFR 405.2100, or blood bank federally licensed under 21 CFR 607.

          (5) "Health care services" means and includes medical, dental, and mental health care services.

          (6) "Secretary" means the secretary of the department of corrections.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 3.     The department may develop and implement a health services plan for the delivery of health care services to inmates in the department's custody, at the discretion of the secretary.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 4.     (1) Notwithstanding any other provisions of law, the secretary may enter into contracts with health care practitioners, health care facilities, and other entities or agents as may be necessary to provide basic medical care to inmates.  The contracts shall not cause the termination of classified employees of the department rendering the services at the time the contract is executed.

          (2) In contracting for services, the secretary is authorized to provide for indemnification of health care practitioners who cannot obtain professional liability insurance through reasonable effort, from liability on any action, claim, or proceeding instituted against them arising out of the good faith performance or failure of performance of services on behalf of the department.  The contracts may provide that for the purposes of chapter 4.92 RCW only, those health care practitioners with whom the department has contracted shall be considered state employees.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 5.     The secretary shall have the power to make rules necessary to carry out the intent of this chapter.


          NEW SECTION.  Sec. 6.     Sections 1 through 5 of this act shall constitute a new chapter in Title 72 RCW.