Chapter 171

(House Bill 1179)

An Act to provide for physician wellness programs.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of South Dakota:

Section 1. That a NEW SECTION be added:

36-2A-16. Physician wellness program defined.

The term, physician wellness program, as used in §§ 36-2A-16 to 36-2A-19, inclusive, means a program of evaluation, counseling, or other modality to address an issue related to career fatigue or wellness in a person licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy under chapter 36-4 or a physician assistant licensed under chapter 36-4A. The term does not include the provision of services intended to monitor for impairment.

Section 2. That a NEW SECTION be added:

36-2A-17. Physician wellness program--Confidentiality--Exemption.

Any record of a person's participation in a physician wellness program is confidential and not subject to discovery, subpoena, or a reporting requirement to the applicable board, unless the person voluntarily provides for written release of the information or the disclosure is required to meet the licensee's obligation to report a criminal charge or action, or unprofessional or dishonorable conduct, as defined in §§ 36-4-30, 36-4-30.1, and 36-4A-38.

Section 3. That a NEW SECTION be added:

36-2A-18. Physician wellness program--Statewide association.

Any statewide association, exempt from taxation under 26 U.S.C. § 501(c)(6) and that primarily represents health care professionals licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy under chapter 36-4, may establish a physician wellness program.

Section 4. That a NEW SECTION be added:

36-2A-19. Physician wellness program--Civil liability.

Any person, agency, institution, facility, or organization employed by, contracting with, or operating a physician wellness program, when acting in good faith, is immune from civil liability for any action related to their duties in connection with a physician wellness program.

Signed March 25, 2021

Catchlines are not law. (§ 2-16-13.1) Underscores indicate new language.

Overstrikes indicate deleted language.