Massachusetts Medical Society: Fact Sheet: An Act to Provide Liability Protections for Health Care Workers and Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

Fact Sheet: An Act to Provide Liability Protections for Health Care Workers and Facilities During the COVID-19 Pandemic

1. Who does it cover?

  • Certain health care professionals, including anyone authorized to provide health care services pursuant to a license or certification issued by the boards of medicine, nursing, respiratory care, nursing home administration, pharmacy, physician assistants, allied health professionals, allied mental health and human services professions, social workers, or psychologists.
  • Also covers certain medical residents, EMS professionals, CNAs, nursing attendants, home health aides, and others licensed pursuant to an emergency order, such as certain medical students.
  • Further covers health care facility administrators, executives, supervisors, board members, trustees, and other individuals responsible for directing, supervising, or managing health care facilities or their personnel.
  • Covers health care facilities, including certain hospitals, mental health facilities, psychiatric hospitals, SNFs, assisted living residence, rest homes, CHCs, home health agencies, clinics, and sites designated by DPH to provide COVID-19 health care services.
  • Volunteer organizations that make facilities available to support response to COVID-19 emergency.

2. What is covered?

  • “Health care services” arranged for or provided in good faith pursuant to a COVID-19 emergency rule during the COVID-19 emergency that are impacted by a health care facility’s or health care professional’s decisions or activities in response to treatment conditions resulting from the COVID-19 outbreak or COVID-19 emergency rules.
  • Health care services include care, assessment, treatment, diagnosis, prevention, or mitigation related to COVID-19 and the care of any other individual who presents at a health care facility or to a health care professional during the period of the COVID-19 emergency.
  • There are no restrictions on the setting of care.

3. What does it do?

  • Makes health care professionals and facilities immune from suit and civil liability for any damages alleged to have been sustained by an act or omission by the health care professional or health care facility in the course of providing health care services during the period of the COVID-19 emergency.
  • DOES NOT apply if the damage was caused by an act or omission constituting gross negligence, recklessness, or conduct with an intent to harm by a health care facility or health care professional providing health care services.
  • DOES NOT apply to consumer protection actions brought by the Attorney General.
  • DOES NOT apply to false claims actions brought by or on behalf of the Commonwealth.

4. What time period is covered?

  • Immunity applies to claims based on acts or omissions taking place during the COVID-19 state of emergency declared on March 10, 2020 and until otherwise terminated or rescinded.

View a PDF version of this fact sheet.

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