2012 South Carolina Code of Laws
Title 44 - Health
Chapter 4 - EMERGENCY HEALTH POWERS
Section 44-4-570 - Emergency powers regarding licensing of health personnel; appointment of in-state and out-of-state providers; liability of appointed providers for civil damages; appointment of emergency medical examiners or coroners; waiver of licensing fees and requirements; immunity.


SC Code § 44-4-570 (2012) What's This?

(A) DHEC, in coordination with the appropriate licensing authority and the Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, may exercise, for such period as the state of public health emergency exists, in addition to existing emergency powers, the following emergency powers regarding licensing of health personnel:

(1) to require in-state health care providers to assist in the performance of vaccination, treatment, examination, or testing of any individual as a condition of licensure, authorization, or the ability to continue to function as a health care provider in this State;

(2) to accept the volunteer services of in-state and out-of-state health care providers consistent with Title 8, Chapter 25, to appoint such in-state and out-of-state health care providers as emergency support function volunteers, and to prescribe the duties as may be reasonable and necessary for emergency response; and

(3) to authorize the medical examiner or coroner to appoint and prescribe the duties of such emergency assistant medical examiners or coroners as may be required for the proper performance of the duties of the office.

(B)(1) The appointment of in-state and out-of-state health care providers pursuant to this section may be for a limited or unlimited time but must not exceed the termination of the state of public health emergency. DHEC may terminate the in-state and out-of-state appointments at any time or for any reason provided that any termination will not jeopardize the health, safety, and welfare of the people of this State.

(2) The appropriate licensing authority may waive any or all licensing requirements, permits, or fees required by law and applicable orders, rules, or regulations for health care providers from other jurisdictions to practice in this State.

(C)(1) Any health care provider appointed by the department pursuant to this section must not be held liable for any civil damages as a result of medical care or treatment including, but not limited to, trauma care and triage assessment, related to the appointment of the health care provider and the prescribed duties unless the damages result from providing, or failing to provide, medical care or treatment under circumstances demonstrating a reckless disregard for the consequences so as to affect the life or health of the patient.

(2) This subsection applies if the health care provider does not receive payment from the State other than as allowed in Section 8-25-40 for the appointed services and prescribed duties. However, if the health care provider is an employee of the State, the health care provider may continue to receive compensation from the health care provider's employer. This subsection applies whether the health care provider was paid, should have been paid, or expected to be paid for the services at the time of rendering the services from sources including, but not limited to, Medicaid, Medicare, reimbursement under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act, 42 U.S.C. Section 512, et seq., or private health insurance.

(D)(1) The appointment of emergency assistant medical examiners or coroners pursuant to this section may be for a limited or unlimited time, but must not exceed the termination of the state of public health emergency. The medical examiner or coroner may terminate the emergency appointments at any time or for any reason, if the termination will not impede the performance of the duties of the office.

(2) The medical examiner or coroner may waive any or all licensing requirements, permits, or fees required by law and applicable orders, rules, or regulations for the performance of these duties.

(3) Any emergency assistant medical examiner or coroner appointed pursuant to this section is immune from civil liability for damages resulting from services relating to and performed during the period of appointment unless the damages result from providing, or failing to provide, services under circumstances demonstrating a reckless disregard for the consequences.

HISTORY: 2002 Act No. 339, Section 24, eff July 2, 2002; 2008 Act No. 341, Section 6, eff June 11, 2008.



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