Duty to report restrictions on health care practitioners' privileges based on unprofessional conduct — Penalty.
(1) The chief administrator or executive officer of a hospital shall report to the department when the practice of a health care practitioner as defined in subsection (2) of this section is restricted, suspended, limited, or terminated based upon a conviction, determination, or finding by the hospital that the health care practitioner has committed an action defined as unprofessional conduct under RCW 18.130.180. The chief administrator or executive officer shall also report any voluntary restriction or termination of the practice of a health care practitioner as defined in subsection (2) of this section while the practitioner is under investigation or the subject of a proceeding by the hospital regarding unprofessional conduct, or in return for the hospital not conducting such an investigation or proceeding or not taking action. The department will forward the report to the appropriate disciplining authority.
(2) The reporting requirements apply to the following health care practitioners: Pharmacists as defined in chapter 18.64 RCW; advanced registered nurse practitioners as defined in chapter 18.79 RCW; dentists as defined in chapter 18.32 RCW; naturopaths as defined in chapter 18.36A RCW; optometrists as defined in chapter 18.53 RCW; osteopathic physicians and surgeons as defined in chapter 18.57 RCW; osteopathic physicians' assistants as defined in chapter 18.57A RCW; physicians as defined in chapter 18.71 RCW; physician assistants as defined in chapter 18.71A RCW; podiatric physicians and surgeons as defined in chapter 18.22 RCW; and psychologists as defined in chapter 18.83 RCW.
(3) Reports made under subsection (1) of this section shall be made within fifteen days of the date: (a) A conviction, determination, or finding is made by the hospital that the health care practitioner has committed an action defined as unprofessional conduct under RCW 18.130.180; or (b) the voluntary restriction or termination of the practice of a health care practitioner, including his or her voluntary resignation, while under investigation or the subject of proceedings regarding unprofessional conduct under RCW 18.130.180 is accepted by the hospital.
(4) Failure of a hospital to comply with this section is punishable by a civil penalty not to exceed five hundred dollars.
(5) A hospital, its chief administrator, or its executive officer who files a report under this section is immune from suit, whether direct or derivative, in any civil action related to the filing or contents of the report, unless the conviction, determination, or finding on which the report and its content are based is proven to not have been made in good faith. The prevailing party in any action brought alleging the conviction, determination, finding, or report was not made in good faith, shall be entitled to recover the costs of litigation, including reasonable attorneys' fees.
(6) The department shall forward reports made under subsection (1) of this section to the appropriate disciplining authority designated under Title 18 RCW within fifteen days of the date the report is received by the department. The department shall notify a hospital that has made a report under subsection (1) of this section of the results of the disciplining authority's case disposition decision within fifteen days after the case disposition. Case disposition is the decision whether to issue a statement of charges, take informal action, or close the complaint without action against a practitioner. In its biennial report to the legislature under RCW 18.130.310, the department shall specifically identify the case dispositions of reports made by hospitals under subsection (1) of this section.
(7) The department shall not increase hospital license fees to carry out this section before July 1, 2008.
[2008 c 134 § 14; 2005 c 470 § 1; 1994 sp.s. c 9 § 743; 1986 c 300 § 7.]
| Finding -- Intent -- Severability -- 2008 c 134: See notes following RCW 18.130.020.|
Severability -- Headings and captions not law -- Effective date -- 1994 sp.s. c 9: See RCW 18.79.900 through 18.79.902.
Legislative findings -- Severability -- 1986 c 300: See notes following RCW 18.57.245.
Medical quality assurance commission: Chapter 18.71 RCW.