On April 3, 2020, the Indiana State Department of Health (“ISDH”) released new guidance related to healthcare providers’ and facilities’ liability/immunity for services provided in response to COVID-19. Pursuant to Indiana Code § 34-30-13.5, individuals and facilities providing healthcare services in response to the COVID-19 emergency declaration may not be held civilly liable for care provided in response to that emergency unless the care provided results from gross negligence or willful misconduct. In providing guidance regarding this statute, the ISDH has stated here that liability protection does not depend on the provider’s employment status and that covered healthcare providers include volunteers. To be immune from civil liability, a provider must: (1) “have a license to provide healthcare services under Indiana law or the law of another state;” and (2) “[provide] the healthcare service within the provider’s scope of practice during the COVID-19 emergency declaration.” Providers are considered licensed for purposes of this liability protection even if they did not hold an active license prior to the outbreak, if they are providing healthcare services in accordance with the requirements of Executive Order 20-13, which includes registration with the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency.
The federal government has also provided immunity for volunteer healthcare providers in the CARES Act. To meet the requirements of this immunity, the care provided must be within the provider’s scope of practice and the provider must not receive compensation for the care provided related to COVID-19. In providing clarity as to what facilities the immunity extends to, as Indiana Code § 34-30-13.5 does not list the specific facility types that receive immunity, the ISDH has stated that the immunity applies to any facility that (1) “provides health care services by a professional licensed under Indiana state law or the law of another state” and (2) “the provision of care is in response to and during the COVID-19 emergency declaration.” This immunity is further noted to extend to non-facility locations that may be set-up in response to the COVID-19 emergency.
If you have questions about the new guidance concerning liability for healthcare providers and facilities, please contact your DSV attorney or Courtney McCormick at firstname.lastname@example.org.
***The information contained on this website is for informational purposes and is not intended as formal legal advice and cannot be relied upon as such. No attorney client relationship is established or intended as a result of the information contained on this website.***