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Introduced Version Senate Bill 418 History

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Senate Bill No. 418

(By Senator Stollings)

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[Introduced January 23, 2014; referred to the Committee on Government Organization; and then to the Committee on the Judiciary.]

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A BILL to amend and reenact §30-3-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, relating to licensing of medical corporations by the Board of Medicine; setting forth licensing requirements; requiring an application; setting forth shareholder requirements; allowing fees to be set by the board; setting forth procedures for medical corporations formed outside of the state; setting out notice and procedural requirements for the Secretary of State; allowing for employees of a medical corporation; providing for a certificate of authorization; setting forth conditions under which the medical corporation cease operations; and providing for criminal penalties for a violation of the section.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

    That §30-3-15 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted to read as follows:

ARTICLE 3. WEST VIRGINIA MEDICAL PRACTICE ACT.

§30-3-15. Medical corporations; podiatry corporations; application             for registration; fees; notice to Secretary of State             of issuance of certificate; action by Secretary of             State; rights and limitations generally; biennial             registration; when practice to cease; admissibility and             effect of certificate signed by secretary of board;             criminal penalty; severability.

    (a) No corporation may practice medicine and surgery or any of its branches, or hold itself out as being capable of practicing medicine and surgery, or practice podiatry or hold itself out as being capable of practicing podiatry in this state without a certificate of authorization from the board designating the corporation as an authorized medical or podiatry corporation.

    (b) One or more physicians duly licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this state under this article, or one or more physicians duly licensed under this article and one or more physicians duly licensed under article fourteen of this chapter, or one or more podiatrists duly licensed to practice podiatry in this state may receive authorization from the board as a designated medical or podiatry corporation by:

    (1) Filing a written application with the board on a form prescribed by the board;

    (2) Furnishing proof satisfactory to the board that each shareholder of the proposed medical corporation is a duly licensed physician or podiatrist pursuant to this article or article fourteen of this chapter; and

    (3) Submitting a reasonable application fee to be set by legislative rule of the board. No portion of the fee shall be refundable.

    (c) A corporation formed outside of this state for the purpose of engaging in the practice of medicine and surgery or the practice of podiatry may receive authorization from the board as a designated foreign medical or podiatry corporation by:

    (1) Filing a written application with the board on a form prescribed by the board;

    (2) Furnishing satisfactory proof to the board that the corporation has received authorization from the appropriate authorities as a medical corporation or professional corporation in its state of incorporation and is currently in good standing with that authority;

    (3) Furnishing satisfactory proof to the board that at least one shareholder of the proposed medical corporation is a duly licensed physician or podiatrist pursuant to this article and is designated as the corporate representative for all communications with the board regarding the designation and continuing authorization of the corporation as a foreign medical corporation;

    (4) Furnishing satisfactory proof to the board that all of the corporation’s shareholders are licensed physicians or podiatrists in one or more states and submitting a complete list of shareholders including each shareholder’s name, state or states of licensure and license number(s); and

    (5) Submitting a reasonable application fee to be set by the legislative rule of the board. No portion of the fee is refundable.

    (d) Upon receipt of a completed application, the appropriate fee, and upon the board’s determination that each shareholder is duly and appropriately licensed, the board shall notify the Secretary of State that a certificate of authorization has been issued to the person or persons making the application. When the Secretary of State receives a notification from the board, he or she shall attach that authorization to the corporation application and, upon compliance by the corporation with the pertinent provisions of chapter thirty-one of this code, shall notify the incorporators that the corporation, through duly licensed physicians or through duly licensed podiatrists, may engage in the practice of medicine and surgery or the practice of podiatry in West Virginia.

    (e) An authorized medical corporation may practice medicine and surgery only through individual physicians duly licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this state and a podiatry corporation may practice podiatry only through individual podiatrists duly licensed to practice podiatry in this state. Physicians or podiatrists may be employees rather than shareholders of a corporation, and nothing herein contained requires a license for or other legal authorization of, any individual employed by a corporation to perform services for which no license or other legal authorization is otherwise required.

    (f) A corporation holding a certificate of authorization shall register biennially, on or before the expiration date appearing upon its certificate of authorization, on a form prescribed by the board, and shall pay a reasonable biennial registration fee, the amount of the reasonable fee to be set by legislative rule of the board.

    (g) A certificate of authorization designating a corporation as a medical or podiatry corporation or as a foreign medical or podiatry corporation shall automatically expire two years after issuance unless the corporation complies with the biennial registration requirement prior to that date.

    (h) A corporation whose certificate of authorization has expired may reapply for designation as a medical or podiatry corporation or as a foreign medical or podiatry corporation by submitting a new application and application fee in conformity with subsection (b) or (c) of this section.

    (i) A medical or podiatry corporation formed in this state and holding a certificate of authorization shall cease to engage in the practice of medicine, surgery or podiatry upon being notified by the board that any of its shareholders is no longer a duly licensed physician or podiatrist, or when any shares of that corporation have been sold or disposed of to a person who is not a duly licensed physician or podiatrist. The personal representative of a deceased shareholder shall have a period, not to exceed twelve months from the date of that shareholder's death, to dispose of the shares: Provided, That nothing contained herein affects the existence of that corporation or its right to continue to operate for all lawful purposes other than the practice of medicine and surgery or the practice of podiatry.

    (j) A foreign medical or podiatry corporation holding a certificate of authorization shall immediately cease to engage in the practice of medicine, surgery or podiatry in this state if:

    (1) The corporate shareholders no longer include at least one shareholder who is licensed to practice as a physician or podiatrist in this state;

    (2) The corporation is notified that any of its shareholders is no longer a duly licensed physician or podiatrist; or

    (3) Any shares of the corporation have been sold or disposed of to a person who is not a duly licensed physician or podiatrist. The personal representative of a deceased shareholder shall have a period, not to exceed twelve months from the date of the shareholder's death, to dispose of those shares. In order to maintain its authorization to practice medicine, surgery or podiatry during the twelve month disposal period, the corporation must, at all times, have at least one shareholder who is licensed as a physician or podiatrist in this state.

    Nothing contained herein affects the existence of that corporation or its right to continue to operate for all lawful purposes other than the practice of medicine, surgery or podiatry.

    (k) Within thirty days of the expiration, revocation, deauthorization or suspension of a certificate of authorization by the board, it shall submit, in writing, notice of the same to the Secretary of State.

    (l) No corporation may practice medicine and surgery or any of its branches or hold itself out as being capable of practicing medicine and surgery, or practice podiatry or hold itself out as being capable of practicing podiatry, after its certificate has expired, has been revoked or was otherwise deauthorized, or if suspended, during the term of the suspension.

    (m) Nothing contained in this article is meant or intended to change in any way the rights, duties, privileges, responsibilities and liabilities incident to the physician-patient or podiatrist-patient relationship nor is it meant or intended to change in any way the personal character of the physician-patient or podiatrist-patient relationship.

    (n) A certificate signed by the secretary of the board to which is affixed the official seal of the board to the effect that it appears from the records of the board that a certificate to practice medicine and surgery or any of its branches, or to practice podiatry, in the state has not been issued to a corporation specified therein or that the certificate has been expired, revoked or suspended is admissible in evidence in all courts of this state and is prima facie evidence of the facts stated therein.

    (o) Any officer, shareholder or employee of a corporation who participates in a violation of this section is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $1,000.

 

    NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to clarify the mechanism by which a domestic medical corporation or podiatry corporation may obtain a certificate of authorization to practice medicine through the corporation in West Virginia through licensed physicians and podiatrists. The bill also authorizes the issuance of certificates of authorization under specific circumstances to physician-owned corporations formed in other states who wish to practice medicine in West Virginia through the corporation. The bill also clarifies that the fee assessed on biennial registration is a biennial fee, and not an annual fee. The bill creates a misdemeanor penalty.


    This section has been completely rewritten; therefore, strike-throughs and underscoring have been omitted.

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