Revision: April 12, 2018, 10:22 a.m.
HB 1571 - VERSION ADOPTED BY BOTH BODIES
HOUSE BILL 1571
SPONSORS: Rep. H. Moffett, Merr. 9; Rep. McGuire, Merr. 29; Rep. Campion, Graf. 12; Rep. Weber, Ches. 1; Rep. Umberger, Carr. 2; Sen. Reagan, Dist 17; Sen. Giuda, Dist 2; Sen. Hennessey, Dist 5
COMMITTEE: Executive Departments and Administration
This bill authorizes the board of nursing to operate or contract for an alternative recovery monitoring program for nurses impaired by substance use disorders or mental or physical illness.
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Explanation: Matter added to current law appears in bold italics.
Matter removed from current law appears [in brackets and struckthrough.]
Matter which is either (a) all new or (b) repealed and reenacted appears in regular type.
6Mar2018... 0269h 18-2245
STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE
In the Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen
Be it Enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court convened:
1 Purpose and Findings. As part of the state’s effort to combat substance use disorder, the general court finds that an alternative recovery monitoring program designed to encourage self-reporting by licensees of the board of nursing who may be impaired by substance use disorder, including drug or alcohol abuse, or mental or physical illness, similar to those programs available to other licensed health professionals in New Hampshire, would improve patient and public safety, promote the health and professional performance of licensees, and return to service and maintain the number of highly trained nursing professionals eligible to provide effective patient care in New Hampshire.
326-B:36-a Alternative Recovery Monitoring Program.
I.(a) Any person or qualified health care professional committee may report relevant facts to the board relating to the acts of any person licensed by the board in this state if they have knowledge relating to the licensee which, in their opinion, might provide grounds for disciplinary or remedial action as specified in RSA 326-B:37, II.
(b) A person or qualified health care professional committee who may report under subparagraph (a) shall include:
(1) A self-reporting licensee, whether without a prior history of substance use disorder or a previously impaired licensee returning to practice under a probationary license who requests participation in an alternative recovery monitoring program;
(2) A quality assurance committee acting in a clinical setting;
(3) Any committee of a professional society comprised primarily of licensees of the board of nursing, or its staff; or
(4) Any person participating in a program established to aid licensees impaired by substance use disorder or mental or physical illness,
(c) No person furnishing any such information to the board in good faith for the purpose of protecting the safety of patients or the public or the health of an impaired licensee shall be liable in damages to any person, including the allegedly impaired licensee.
II. Upon a determination by the board that a report or complaint submitted by any person or qualified health care professional committee is without merit, the report shall be kept confidential or non-public in the subject licensee’s individual record in the board’s office. A licensee subject to a report under this section or the licensee’s authorized representative shall be entitled on written request to examine the licensee’s individual record in the board’s office, including any such report submitted to the board, and to place into the record a statement of reasonable length of the licensee’s view with respect to any information existing in the report, in accordance with rules established by the board.
III.(a) If the board determines that a report or complaint submitted by any person or qualified health care professional committee has or may have merit, the board may either:
(1) Refer the matter for disciplinary proceedings under RSA 326-B:37, subject to paragraph IV of this section; or
(2) Refer the impaired licensee to an alternative recovery monitoring program under paragraph VI.
(b) Among the factors bearing on the board’s decision whether to proceed with disciplinary proceedings or refer the licensee to an alternative recovery monitoring program, the board may consider whether the affected licensee has taken the initiative to voluntarily self-report under subparagraph I(b)(1), or whether a report or complaint has been initiated by a third party under subparagraph I(b)(2), (3), or (4).
IV. Notwithstanding the provisions of RSA 91-A, the records and proceedings of the board compiled in connection with a report made under paragraph I shall be confidential and are not to be considered open records unless the subject licensee so requests, provided, however, the board may disclose this confidential information only:
(a) In a disciplinary hearing before the board or in a subsequent appeal of a board action or order;
(b) To the nurse licensing or disciplinary authorities of other jurisdictions; or
(c) Pursuant to an order of a court of competent jurisdiction.
V.(a) No person, including any employee or member of the board, any member of a qualified health care professional committee, or any other individual furnishing in good faith information, data, reports, or records for the purpose of aiding an impaired licensee shall by reason of furnishing such information be liable in damages to any person.
(b) No employee or member of the board, member of any qualified health care professional committee, or staff member or participant in any alternative recovery monitoring program shall be liable in damages to any person for any action taken or recommendation made by such board, committee, staff, or participant unless he or she is found to have acted with wanton disregard for patient or public safety, or for the rights or reputation of the subject licensee, or for the reputation of the organization in which the subject licensee is employed or volunteers.
VI.(a) The board shall contract with other organizations to operate the alternative recovery monitoring program for licensees who are impaired by substance use disorder or mental or physical illness. This program may include, but shall not be limited to, assessment, education, intervention, drug and alcohol testing, temporary suspension or limitation of clinical privileges, drug addiction counseling, participation in peer support groups, record keeping with respect to success and failure rates, post-treatment assessment and monitoring, and other alternatives approved by the board.
(b) The board may allocate amounts determined by the board from the annual license renewal fees it collects from licensees in each class of nurses licensed by the board, to provide funding for the alternative recovery monitoring program as set forth in subparagraph (a).
(c) No later than July 1, 2019, the board shall adopt rules under RSA 541-A for the procedures and other matters required to implement this section.
(d) By requiring the licensee to submit to the care, counseling, or treatment of a [physician] licensed health care provider, counseling service, health care facility, professional assistance program established under RSA 326-B:36-a, or any comparable person[or], facility, or program approved by the board.