HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

H.B. NO.

2194

TWENTY-FIFTH LEGISLATURE, 2010

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO TELEMEDICINE.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that the expansion of internet-based telecommunications has revolutionized the ways that consumers acquire goods and services. In particular, the use of telemedicine services has radically expanded access to physicians and medical services for the people of Hawaii.

The legislature finds, however, that not all aspects of an increasingly global economy have kept up with the rapid changes that telecommunications has fostered. Recently, physicians offering telemedicine services have found that their medical malpractice insurance plans may not cover telemedicine services.

The purpose of this Act to clarify telemedicine as a practice of medicine, and to require insurers offering medical malpractice insurance coverage to also cover telemedicine services.

SECTION 2. Section 431:1-209, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"431:1-209 General casualty insurance defined. General casualty insurance includes vehicle insurance as defined in section 431:1-208, accident and health or sickness insurance as defined in section 431:1-205, and in addition is insurance:

(1) Against legal liability for the death, injury, or disability of any human being, or from damage to property;

(2) Of medical, hospital, surgical, and funeral benefits to persons injured, irrespective of legal liability of the insured, when issued with or supplemental to insurance against legal liability for the death, injury, or disability of human beings;

(3) Of the obligation accepted by, imposed upon, or assumed by employers under law for death, disablement, or injury to employees;

(4) Against loss or damage by burglary, theft, larceny, robbery, forgery, fraud, vandalism, malicious mischief, confiscation, or wrongful conversion, disposal, or concealment, or from any attempt of any of the foregoing; also insurance against loss or damage to moneys, coins, bullion, securities, notes, drafts, acceptances, or any other valuable papers or documents, resulting from any cause, except while in the mail;

(5) Upon personal effects of individuals, by an all-risk type of policy commonly known as the personal property floater;

(6) Against loss or damage to glass and its appurtenances resulting from any cause;

(7) Against any liability and loss or damage to property resulting from accidents to or explosions of boilers, pipes, pressure containers, machinery, or apparatus;

(8) Against loss of or damage to any property of the insured resulting from the ownership, maintenance, or use of elevators, except loss or damage by fire;

(9) Against loss or damage to any property caused by the breakage or leakage of sprinklers, water pipes, or containers, or by water entering through leaks or openings in buildings;

(10) Against loss or damage resulting from failure of debtors to pay their obligations to the insured (credit insurance);

(11) Against loss of or damage to any domesticated or wild animal resulting from any cause (livestock insurance);

(12) Against loss of or damage to any property of the insured resulting from collision of any other object with such property, but not including collision to or by vessels, craft, piers, or other instrumentalities of ocean or inland navigation (collision insurance);

(13) Against legal liability of the insured, and against loss, damage, or expense incident to a claim of such liability, and including any obligation of the insured to pay medical, hospital, surgical, and funeral benefits to injured persons, irrespective of legal liability of the insured, arising out of the death or injury of any person, or arising out of injury to the economic interest of any person as the result of negligence in rendering expert, fiduciary, or professional service (malpractice insurance); provided that, liability insurance covering the professional services of a physician or surgeon shall include coverage for claims or losses relating to the practice of telemedicine meeting the requirements of section 453-1.3;

(14) Against any contract of warranty or guaranty which promises service maintenance, parts replacement, repair, money, or any other indemnity in the event of loss of or damage to a motor vehicle or any part thereof from any cause, including loss of or damage to or loss of use of the motor vehicle by reason of depreciation, deterioration, wear and tear, use, obsolescence, or breakage if made by a warrantor or guarantor who or which as such is doing an insurance business; provided that service contracts, as defined and meeting the requirements of chapter 481X, shall not be subject to chapter 431.

The doing or proposing to do any business in substance equivalent to the business described in this section in a manner designed to evade the provisions of this section is the doing of an insurance business; and

(15) Against any other kind of loss, damage, or liability properly the subject of insurance and not within any other class or classes or type of insurance as defined in sections 431:1-204 to 431:1-211, if such insurance is not contrary to law or public policy."

SECTION 3. Section 435C-2, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "medical malpractice insurance" to read as follows:

""Medical malpractice insurance" means insurance coverage against the legal liability of the insured and against loss, damage, or expense incident to a claim arising out of the death or injury of any person as the result of negligence or malpractice in rendering professional service by any licensed physician or hospital[.], including coverage for claims or losses relating to the practice of telemedicine meeting the requirements of section 453-1.3."

SECTION 4. Section 435E-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by amending the definition of "physician" or "surgeon" to read as follows:

""Physician" or "surgeon" means any person licensed to practice medicine or osteopathic medicine under chapter 453[;], or any professional corporation, partnership, or other entity whose stockholders or partners are comprised solely of persons licensed under chapter 453. The term shall also include any person exempt from licensure under section 453-2(b)(3) or 453-2(b)(6) practicing telemedicine meeting the requirements of section 453-1.3."

SECTION 5. Section 453-1, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended to read as follows:

"453-1 Practice of medicine defined. For the purposes of this chapter the practice of medicine by a physician or an osteopathic physician includes the use of drugs and medicines, water, electricity, hypnotism, osteopathic medicine, or any means or method, or any agent, either tangible or intangible, for the treatment of disease in the human subject; provided that when a duly licensed physician or osteopathic physician pronounces a person affected with any disease hopeless and beyond recovery and gives a written certificate to that effect to the person affected or the person's attendant nothing herein shall forbid any person from giving or furnishing any remedial agent or measure when so requested by or on behalf of the affected person.

This section shall not amend or repeal the law respecting the treatment of those affected with Hansen's disease.

For purposes of this chapter, "osteopathic medicine" means the utilization of full methods of diagnosis and treatment in physical and mental health and disease, including the prescribing and administration of drugs and biologicals of all kinds, operative surgery, obstetrics, radiological, and other electromagnetic emissions, and placing special emphasis on the interrelation of the neuro-musculoskeletal system to all other body systems, and the amelioration of disturbed structure-function relationships by the clinical application of the osteopathic diagnosis and therapeutic skills for the maintenance of health and treatment of disease.

The practice of medicine shall include the use of telemedicine meeting the requirements of section 453-1.3."

SECTION 6. Statutory material to be repealed is bracketed and stricken. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 7. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Telehealth; Medicine and Surgery; Liability Insurance

 

Description:

Clarifies telehealth as a practice of medicine. Amends liability insurance provisions to allow for telehealth coverage under medical malpractice insurance.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.