(a) There is established a special volunteer license for physical therapists or physical therapist assistants, as the case may be, retired or retiring from active practice who wish to donate their expertise for the care and treatment of indigent and needy patients in the clinical setting of clinics organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge. The special volunteer license provided by this section shall be issued by the West Virginia Board of Physical Therapy to physical therapists or physical therapist assistants licensed or otherwise eligible for licensure under this article and the legislative rules promulgated hereunder without the payment of an application fee, license fee or renewal fee, and the initial license shall be issued for the remainder of the licensing period, and renewed consistent with the boards other licensing requirements. The board shall develop application forms for the special volunteer license provided in this section which shall contain the applicant's acknowledgment that:
(1) The applicant's practice under the special volunteer license will be exclusively devoted to providing physical therapy care to needy and indigent persons in West Virginia;
(2) The applicant may not receive any payment or compensation, either direct or indirect, or have the expectation of any payment or compensation, for any physical therapy services rendered under the special volunteer license;
(3) The applicant shall supply any supporting documentation that the board may reasonably require; and
(4) The applicant shall continue to participate in continuing education as required by the board for special volunteer physical therapists or physical therapist assistants license, as the case may be.
(b) Any physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who renders any physical therapy service to indigent and needy patients of a clinic organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge under a special volunteer license authorized under subsection (a) of this section without payment or compensation or the expectation or promise of payment or compensation is immune from liability for any civil action arising out of any act or omission resulting from the rendering of the physical therapy service at the clinic unless the act or omission was the result of gross negligence or willful misconduct on the part of the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant. In order for the immunity under this subsection to apply, there must be a written agreement between the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant and the clinic stating that the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant will provide voluntary uncompensated physical therapy services under the control of the clinic to patients of the clinic before the rendering of any services by the physical therapist or physical therapist assistant at the clinic: Provided, That any clinic entering into such written agreement is required to maintain liability coverage of not less than $1 million per occurrence.
(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, a clinic organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge is not relieved from imputed liability for the negligent acts of a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant rendering voluntary physical therapy services at or for the clinic under a special volunteer license authorized under this section.
(d) For purposes of this section, "otherwise eligible for licensure" means the satisfaction of all the requirements for licensure for a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant, as the case may be, except the fee requirements.
(e) Nothing in this section may be construed as requiring the board to issue a special volunteer license to any physical therapist or physical therapist assistant whose license is or has been subject to any disciplinary action or to any physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who has surrendered a license or caused a license to lapse, expire and become invalid in lieu of having a complaint initiated or other action taken against his or her license, or who has elected to place a license in inactive status in lieu of having a complaint initiated or other action taken against his or her license or who has been denied a license.
(f) Any policy or contract of liability insurance providing coverage for liability sold, issued or delivered in this state to any physical therapist or physical therapist assistant covered under the provisions of this article shall be read so as to contain a provision or endorsement whereby the company issuing such policy waives or agrees not to assert as a defense on behalf of the policy holder or any beneficiary there of the policy, to any claim covered by the terms of the policy within the policy limits, the immunity from liability of the insured by reason of the care and treatment of needy and indigent patients by a physical therapist or physical therapist assistant who holds a special volunteer license.
Note: WV Code updated with legislation passed through the 2013 1st Special Session
The WV Code Online is an unofficial copy of the annotated WV Code, provided as a convenience. It has NOT been edited for publication, and is not in any way official or authoritative.