H. B. 2289
(By Delegate Ashley)
[Introduced January 12, 2011; referred to the
Committee on Health and Human Resources then the Judiciary.]
A BILL to amend the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-2L-1, §16-2L-2, §16-2L-3, §16-2L-4 and §16-2L-5, all relating to creating the Abortion Complication Reporting Act; requiring physicians to file regular reports with the Department of Health and Human Resources regarding patients who require medical treatment as a result of an abortion; and providing criminal penalties for violation.
Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:
That the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended by adding thereto a new article, designated §16-2L-1, §16-2L-2, §16-2L-3, §16-2L-4 and §16-2L-5, all to read as follows:
ARTICLE 2L. ABORTION COMPLICATION REPORTING ACT.
§16-2L-1. Short title.
This article shall be known and may be cited as the Abortion Complication Reporting Act.
As used in this article:
(1) "Department" means the state Department of Health and Human Resources.
(2) "Medical treatment" means, but is not limited to, hospitalization, laboratory tests, surgery or prescription of drugs.
§16-2L-3. Physician to file report.
(a) A physician shall file a written report with the state Department of Health and Human Resources regarding each patient who comes under the physician's professional care and requires medical treatment or suffers death that the attending physician has a reasonable basis to believe is a primary, secondary or tertiary result of an induced abortion.
(b) These reports shall be submitted within thirty days of the discharge or death of the patient treated for the complication.
(c) The department shall summarize aggregate data from the reports required under this section for purposes of inclusion into the annual vital statistics report.
(d) The department shall develop and distribute or make available online in a downloadable format a standardized form for the report required under this section.
(e) The department shall communicate this reporting requirement to all medical professional organizations, licensed physicians, hospitals, emergency rooms, abortion facilities and ambulatory surgical facilities operating in the state.
(f) The department shall destroy each individual report required by this section and each copy of the report after retaining the report for five years after the date the report is received.
(g) The report required under this section may not contain the name of the woman, common identifiers such as her social security number or motor vehicle operator's license number or other information or identifiers that would make it possible to identify in any manner or under any circumstances an individual who has obtained or seeks to obtain an abortion. A state agency may not compare data in an electronic or other information system file with data in another electronic or other information system that would result in identifying in any manner or under any circumstances an individual obtaining or seeking to obtain an abortion. Statistical information that may reveal the identity of a woman obtaining or seeking to obtain an abortion may not be maintained.
(h) The department or an employee of the department may not disclose to a person or entity outside the department the reports or the contents of the reports required under this section in a manner or fashion as to permit the person or entity to whom the report is disclosed to identify in any way the person who is the subject of the report.
(i) Any person who discloses confidential identifying information in violation of this section is guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not more than $5,000 or imprisoned in a state correctional facility for not more than three years, or both fined and imprisoned.
§16-2L-4. Information to be included in report.
(a) Each report of medical treatment following abortion required under section four of this article shall contain the following information:
(1) The age and race of the patient;
(2) The characteristics of the patient, including residency status, county of residence, marital status, education, number of previous pregnancies, number of stillbirths, number of living children and number of previous abortions;
(3) The date the abortion was performed and the method used if known;
(4) The type of facility where the abortion was performed;
(5) The condition of the patient that led to treatment, including, but not limited to, pelvic infection, hemorrhage, damage to pelvic organs, renal failure, metabolic disorder, shock, embolism, coma or death; and
(6) The amount billed to cover the treatment of the complication, including whether the treatment was billed to Medicaid, insurance, private pay or other method. This should include charges for physician, hospital, emergency room, prescription or other drugs, laboratory tests and any other costs for the treatment rendered.
(b) Nothing in this article may be construed as an instruction to discontinue collecting data currently being collected.
§16-2L-5. Criminal penalties.
Willful violation of the provisions of this article is a misdemeanor and, punishable by a fine of $100, except that disclosure of confidential identifying information is a felony, punishable by imprisonment in a state correctional facility for not more than three years, or a fine of not more than $5,000, or both fine and imprisonment. A physician or hospital, its officers, employees or medical and nursing personnel practicing in the hospital is not civilly liable for violation of the provisions of this article, except to the extent of liability for actual damages in a civil action for willful or reckless and wanton acts or omissions constituting that violation. However, that liability is subject to any immunities or limitations of liability or damages provided by law.
NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to require physicians to file regular reports with the Department of Health and Human Resources, regarding patients who require medical treatment as a result of an abortion; providing criminal penalties for violation.
This article is new; therefore, it has been completely underscored.