BILL NUMBER: SB 1031 AMENDED
AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 28, 2010
AMENDED IN SENATE MAY 18, 2010
AMENDED IN SENATE APRIL 5, 2010
INTRODUCED BY Senator Corbett
FEBRUARY 12, 2010
An act to add Article 17.1 (commencing with Section 2399) to
Chapter 5 of Division 2 of, and to repeal Section 2399.7 of, the
Business and Professions Code, relating to medicine.
LEGISLATIVE COUNSEL'S DIGEST
SB 1031, as amended, Corbett. Medical malpractice insurance:
volunteer physicians and surgeons.
Under existing law, the Medical Practice Act, the Medical Board of
California is responsible for the certification and regulation of
physicians and surgeons. Existing law requires the board, in
conjunction with the Health Professions Education Foundation, to
study the issue of providing medical malpractice insurance to
volunteer physicians and surgeons and to report its findings to the
Legislature by January 1, 2008.
The bill would create the Volunteer Insured Physicians Program,
administered by the board, to provide specified medical malpractice
insurance coverage to volunteer physicians providing uncompensated
care to patients pursuant to a contract with a qualified health care
entity, as defined. The bill would provide
funding for the program from the Contingent Fund of the
Medical Board of California for a limited period of time. The bill
would require annual reports to the Legislature until January 1,
Vote: majority. Appropriation: no. Fiscal committee: yes.
State-mandated local program: no.
THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
SECTION 1. Article 17.1 (commencing with Section 2399) is added to
Chapter 5 of Division 2 of the Business and Professions Code, to
Article 17.1. Volunteer Insured Physicians Program
2399. This article shall be known and may be cited as the
Volunteer Insured Physicians (VIP) Act, which authorizes the creation
and implementation of the Volunteer Insured Physicians (VIP) Program
within the Medical Board of California.
2399.1. (a) For purposes of
this article, the following definitions shall apply:
(a) "Licensee" means the holder of a current physician
and surgeon's certificate.
(b) "Patient" means a person who is eligible for free
or discounted services at a qualified health care entity.
(c) "Qualified health care entity" means a community
clinic as defined in subdivision (a) of Section 1204 of, or
subdivision (c) of Section 1206 of, the Health and Safety Code, a
county health department, or a hospital district, hospital, or a
clinic owned and operated by a governmental entity that provides
primary care to low-income patients.
(d) "Voluntary service agreement" means an agreement
executed pursuant to this article between the board, a licensee, and
a qualified health care entity that authorizes the health care entity
to enter into a voluntary service contract with the licensee.
(e) "Voluntary service application" means the written
application developed by the board that a licensee must complete and
submit in order to be considered for participation in the VIP
(f) "Voluntary service contract" means an agreement
executed pursuant to this article between a licensee and a qualified
health care entity that authorizes the licensee to deliver health
care services to patients as an agent of the qualified health care
entity on a voluntary, uncompensated basis.
(g) "Volunteer physician" means a licensee under this
chapter who provides primary care medical services in California
without receiving monetary or material compensation and who is
participating in the VIP Program.
2399.2. (a) A licensee who wants to provide voluntary,
uncompensated care to patients, but who does not have medical
professional liability insurance that provides insurance coverage for
premiums, defense, and indemnity costs for any claims arising from
voluntary and uncompensated care, may submit a voluntary service
application to the board for coverage under the VIP Program.
(b) When the board receives an application for voluntary license
status under Section 2083 or 2442, the board shall assess whether the
applicant qualifies for coverage under the VIP Program and notify
the applicant of its finding.
(c) A licensee who has standard medical professional liability
insurance coverage for his or her regular practice but who is not
covered for volunteer service may submit a voluntary service
application to participate in the VIP Program. In conjunction with
the voluntary service application, the licensee shall submit
verification from his or her medical professional liability insurance
carrier that voluntary, uncompensated care is not covered by his or
her existing medical professional liability insurance policy.
(d) The board shall review the voluntary service application to
determine if the applicant meets the criteria for VIP Program
participation. These criteria shall include both of the following:
(1) Holding an active license in good standing to practice
medicine in the State of California.
(2) No record of disciplinary action by the board or any other
(e) Eligibility for the VIP Program shall be reassessed by the
board during each license renewal cycle.
2399.3. (a) Licensees approved by the board for participation in
the VIP Program may enter into a voluntary service agreement with the
board and a qualified health care entity that acknowledges the terms
of the VIP Program and transfers responsibility from the volunteer
physician to the state for medical professional liability insurance,
including premiums, defense, and indemnity costs, for voluntary,
uncompensated medical care that is provided in accordance with an
executed and signed voluntary service contract between the volunteer
physician and the qualified health care entity and that complies with
the terms of the VIP Program.
(b) Volunteer physicians participating in the VIP Program shall
agree to limit the scope of the volunteer medical care to primary
care medical services.
(c) The voluntary service contract between the volunteer physician
and the qualified health care entity shall include all of the
(1) All care provided shall be both voluntary and uncompensated .
(2) Patient selection and initial referral shall be made solely by
the qualified health care entity and the volunteer physician shall
accept all referred patients except as otherwise allowed by law.
However, the number of patients that must be accepted may be limited
by the voluntary service contract and patients may not be transferred
to the volunteer physician in violation of any antidumping
provisions of the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1989 (P.L.
101-239) or the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1990 (P.L.
(3) The qualified health care entity shall have access to the
patient records of the volunteer physician delivering services under
the voluntary service contract.
(4) The volunteer physician shall be subject to the qualified
health care entity's standard peer review process and all related
laws regarding peer review, including, but not limited to, the filing
of reports pursuant to Section 805.
(5) If the qualified health care entity has no peer review
process, the qualified health care entity shall utilize a quality
assurance program to monitor services delivered by the volunteer
physician under the voluntary service contract.
(6) The right to dismiss or terminate a volunteer physician
delivering services under the voluntary service contract shall be
retained by the qualified health care entity. If the voluntary
service contract is terminated, the qualified health care entity
shall notify the VIP Program in writing within five days.
2399.4. The fact that a volunteer physician is insured under the
VIP Program in relation to particular medical services rendered shall
not operate to change or affect the laws applicable to any claims
arising from or related to those medical services. All laws
applicable to a claim remain the same regardless of whether a
licensee is insured through the VIP Program.
2399.5. If a volunteer physician covered by the VIP Program
receives notice or otherwise obtains knowledge that a claim of
professional medical negligence has been or may be filed, the
volunteer physician shall immediately notify the VIP Program or the
contracted liability carrier.
2399.6. All costs for administering the VIP Program, including
the cost of medical professional liability insurance for premiums,
defense, and indemnity coverage for program participants, shall be
paid for from the Contingent Fund of the Medical Board of
California, in an amount not to exceed ____ dollars ($____) per year.
2399.7. (a) The board shall report annually to the Legislature
summarizing the efficacy of access and outcomes with respect to
providing health care services for patients pursuant to this article.
The report shall include the numbers of injuries and deaths
reported, claims statistics for all care rendered under the VIP
Program, including the total of all premiums paid, the number of
claims made for each year of the VIP Program, the amount of all
indemnity payments made, the cost of defense provided, and
administration costs associated with all claims made against
volunteer physicians arising from voluntary and uncompensated care
provided under the VIP Program.
(b) (1) A report to be submitted pursuant to subdivision (a) shall
be submitted in compliance with Section 9795 of the Government Code.
(2) Pursuant to Section 10231.5 of the Government Code, this
section is repealed on January 1, 2015.
2399.75. Nothing in this article shall be construed to prevent
the board from taking appropriate action against a licensee.
2399.8. This article shall remain operative until January 1,
2016, or until another viable source of funding is identified and
adopted, whichever occurs first.