Del. Sam Rasoul files bill to help medical professionals, low-income patients

sam rasoulDel. Sam Rasoul (D-Roanoke) has filed legislation that would help allow medical professionals who provide charitable healthcare services to receive continuing education credits.

Rasoul says the bill sets up a system that allows the neediest Virginians – those with low-incomes or who live in underserved communities – to access free high-quality medical care. The legislation also provides legal protection in the form of sovereign immunity to healthcare professionals who donate their services.

“There are many doctors, dentists, nurses and other medical professionals who would like to donate some of their time and knowledge to helping their neighbors who are uninsured, underinsured, or who otherwise cannot afford certain services,” said Rasoul. “They would be able to fulfill continuing education requirements through this charitable work, and more Virginians would get the healthcare they need. It’s a win-win for everyone.”

A similar program took effect in Florida in 1992 and has been described as “one example of how innovative solutions can leverage existing medical resources to maximum effect and deliver the care needed for many of the most vulnerable in our society” by the Foundation for Government Accountability. The program generates nearly $300 million in donated care each year and has provided 2.2 million free patient visits since 2010.

HB 319 will be introduced when the General Assembly convenes for its 2016 legislative session next week.

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