State Codes and Statutes

State Codes and Statutes

Statutes > West-virginia > 30 > 30-21-17

§30-21-17. Special volunteer psychologists license; civil immunity for voluntary services rendered to indigents.
(a) There is established a special volunteer psychologists license for psychologists retired or retiring from the active practice of psychology who wish to donate their expertise for the psychological care and treatment of indigent and needy patients in the clinic setting of clinics organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge. The special volunteer psychologist license shall be issued by the West Virginia Board of Examiners of Psychologists to psychologists licensed or otherwise eligible for licensure under this article and the legislative rules promulgated hereunder without the payment of an application fee, license fee or renewal fee, and the initial license shall be issued for the remainder of the licensing period, and renewed consistent with the boards other licensing requirements. The board shall develop application forms for the special license provided in this subsection which shall contain the psychologist's acknowledgment that:

(1) The psychologist's practice under the special volunteer psychologists license will be exclusively devoted to providing psychological care to needy and indigent persons in West Virginia;

(2) The psychologist will not receive any payment or compensation, either direct or indirect, or have the expectation of any payment or compensation, for any psychological services rendered under the special volunteer psychological license;

(3) The psychologist will supply any supporting documentation that the board may reasonably require; and

(4) The psychologist agrees to continue to participate in continuing education as required by the board for a special volunteer psychologists license.

(b) Any psychologist who renders any psychological service to indigent and needy patients of a clinic organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge under a special volunteer psychologist license authorized under subsection (a) of this section without payment or compensation or the expectation or promise of payment or compensation, is immune from liability for any civil action arising out of any act or omission resulting from the rendering of the psychological service at the clinic unless the act or omission was the result of the psychologist's gross negligence or willful misconduct. In order for the immunity under this subsection to apply, there must be a written agreement between the psychologist and the clinic pursuant to which the psychologist will provide voluntary uncompensated psychological services under the control of the clinic to patients of the clinic before the rendering of any services by the psychologists at the clinic: Provided, That any clinic entering into such written agreement is required to maintain liability coverage of not less than one million dollars per occurrence.

(c) Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (b) of this section, a clinic organized, in whole or in part, for the delivery of health care services without charge is not relieved from imputed liability for the negligent acts of a psychologist rendering voluntary psychological services at or for the clinic under a special volunteer psychological license authorized under subsection (a) of this section.

(d) For purposes of this section, "otherwise eligible for licensure" means the satisfaction of all the requirements for licensure as listed in section seven of this article and in the legislative rules promulgated thereunder, except the fee requirements of subsection (d) of that section and of the legislative rules promulgated by the board relating to fees.

(e) Nothing in this section may be construed as requiring the board to issue a special volunteer psychologist license to any psychologist whose license is or has been subject to any disciplinary action or to any psychologist who has surrendered a psychologist license or caused such license to lapse, expire and become invalid in lieu of having a complaint initiated or other action taken against his or her license, or who has elected to place a psychologist license in inactive status in lieu of having a complaint initiated or other action taken against his or her license, or who has been denied a psychologist license.

(f) Any policy or contract of liability insurance providing coverage for liability sold, issued or delivered in this state to any psychologist covered under the provisions of this article, shall be read so as to contain a provision or endorsement whereby the company issuing such policy waives or agrees not to assert as a defense on behalf of the policyholder or any beneficiary thereof, to any claim covered by the terms of such policy within the policy limits, the immunity from liability of the insured by reason of the care and treatment of needy and indigent patients by a psychologist who holds a special volunteer psychologist license.