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Senate Bill No. 842

Public Act No. 17-10

AN ACT CONCERNING THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH'S RECOMMENDATIONS REGARDING ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS TAKEN AGAINST A LICENSED HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONAL.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (a) of section 19a-17 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(a) Each board or commission established under chapters 369 to 376, inclusive, 378 to 381, inclusive, and 383 to 388, inclusive, and the Department of Public Health with respect to professions under its jurisdiction that have no board or commission may take any of the following actions, singly or in combination, based on conduct that occurred prior or subsequent to the issuance of a permit or a license upon finding the existence of good cause:

(1) Revoke a practitioner's license or permit;

(2) Suspend a practitioner's license or permit;

(3) Censure a practitioner or permittee;

(4) Issue a letter of reprimand to a practitioner or permittee;

(5) Restrict or otherwise limit practice to those areas prescribed by the board, commission or department;

[(5)] (6) Place a practitioner or permittee on probationary status and require the practitioner or permittee to:

(A) Report regularly to such board, commission or department upon the matters which are the basis of probation;

(B) Limit practice to those areas prescribed by such board, commission or department;

(C) Continue or renew professional education until a satisfactory degree of skill has been attained in those areas which are the basis for the probation;

[(6)] (7) Assess a civil penalty of up to twenty-five thousand dollars;

[(7)] (8) In those cases involving persons or entities licensed or certified pursuant to sections 20-341d, 20-435, 20-436, 20-437, 20-438, 20-475 and 20-476, require that restitution be made to an injured property owner; or

[(8)] (9) Summarily take any action specified in this subsection against a practitioner's license or permit upon receipt of proof that such practitioner has been:

(A) Found guilty or convicted as a result of an act which constitutes a felony under (i) the laws of this state, (ii) federal law, or (iii) the laws of another jurisdiction and which, if committed within this state, would have constituted a felony under the laws of this state; or

(B) Subject to disciplinary action similar to that specified in this subsection by a duly authorized professional agency of any state, the District of Columbia, a United States possession or territory or a foreign jurisdiction. The applicable board or commission, or the department shall promptly notify the practitioner or permittee that his license or permit has been summarily acted upon pursuant to this subsection and shall institute formal proceedings for revocation within ninety days after such notification.

Sec. 2. Subsection (a) of section 17b-552 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(a) A health care provider shall limit charges for care, treatment, service or equipment covered by Medicare Part B under Title XVIII of the Social Security Act, as amended, provided to a Medicare beneficiary who meets the eligibility requirements specified in section 17b-551, to the reasonable charge for the care, treatment, service or equipment provided as determined by the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. No health care provider shall collect from such qualified beneficiary any amount in excess of the approved reasonable charge. Any violation of this subsection shall constitute grounds for the assessment of a civil penalty in accordance with subdivision [(6)] (7) of subsection (a) of section 19a-17, as amended by this act. Any complaint alleging a violation of this section shall be made to the Department of Public Health or the appropriate professional licensing board or commission.

Sec. 3. Subsection (h) of section 19a-904 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(h) No cause of action for damages shall arise, or any civil penalty be imposed, against any hospital, hospital contact person or designated officer for failure to comply with the duties established by this section. Notwithstanding the provisions of this subsection, the Commissioner of Public Health may take any action specified in subdivisions (1) to [(5)] (6), inclusive, of subsection (a) of section 19a-17, as amended by this act, and section 19a-494 for a violation of the provisions of this section as the commissioner deems appropriate.

Sec. 4. Subsection (c) of section 20-7a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(c) Each practitioner of the healing arts who (1) has an ownership or investment interest in an entity that provides diagnostic or therapeutic services, or (2) receives compensation or remuneration for referral of patients to an entity that provides diagnostic or therapeutic services shall disclose such interest to any patient prior to referring such patient to such entity for diagnostic or therapeutic services and provide reasonable referral alternatives. Such information shall be verbally disclosed to each patient or shall be posted in a conspicuous place visible to patients in the practitioner's office. The posted information shall list the therapeutic and diagnostic services in which the practitioner has an ownership or investment interest and therapeutic and diagnostic services from which the practitioner receives compensation or remuneration for referrals and state that alternate referrals will be made upon request. Therapeutic services include physical therapy, radiation therapy, intravenous therapy and rehabilitation services including physical therapy, occupational therapy or speech and language pathology, or any combination of such therapeutic services. This subsection shall not apply to in-office ancillary services. As used in this subsection, "ownership or investment interest" does not include ownership of investment securities that are purchased by the practitioner on terms available to the general public and are publicly traded; and "entity that provides diagnostic or therapeutic services" includes services provided by an entity that is within a hospital but is not owned by the hospital. Violation of this subsection constitutes conduct subject to disciplinary action under subdivision [(6)] (7) of subsection (a) of section 19a-17, as amended by this act.

Sec. 5. Subdivision (2) of subsection (n) of section 25-32 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2017):

(2) The commissioner may take any disciplinary action set forth in section 19a-17, as amended by this act, except for the assessment of a civil penalty under subdivision [(6)] (7) of subsection (a) of section 19a-17, as amended by this act, against an operator, a person who tests backflow prevention devices or a person who performs cross connection surveys holding a certificate issued under this subsection for any of the following reasons: (A) Fraud or material deception in procuring a certificate, the renewal of a certificate or the reinstatement of a certificate; (B) fraud or material deception in the performance of the certified operator's professional activities; (C) incompetent, negligent or illegal performance of the certified operator's professional activities; (D) conviction of the certified operator for a felony; or (E) failure of the certified operator to complete the training required under subdivision (1) of this subsection.

Approved May 31, 2017