(a) There shall be no liability on the part of, and no cause of action shall accrue against, any health care provider for professional negligence on account of the receipt by such provider of an unsolicited referral, arising from a test performed by a multiphasic screening unit, for any act or omission, including the failure to examine, treat, or refer for examination or treatment any person concerning whom an unsolicited referral has been received. The immunity from liability granted by this subdivision shall only apply where a health provider meets the obligations established in subdivision (c).
(b) Every multiphasic screening unit shall notify each person it tests that the person should contact the health provider to whom the test results are sent within 10 days and that the health provider may not be obligated to interpret the results or provide further care. The multiphasic screening unit shall include the words “PATIENT TEST RESULTS” on the envelope of any test results sent to a health care provider, and shall include the address of the person tested in the test result material sent to the health care provider.
Nothing contained in this section shall relieve any health care provider from liability, if any, when at the time of receipt of the unsolicited referral there exists a provider-patient relationship, or a contract for health care services, or following receipt of such unsolicited referral there is established or reestablished a provider-patient relationship.
(c)A health care provider who receives unsolicited test results from a multiphasic screening unit shall receive immunity from liability pursuant to subdivision (a) only if the provider who receives such test results and does not wish to evaluate them, or evaluates them and takes no further action, either notifies the multiphasic screening unit of that fact or returns the test results within 21 days. If the health care provider reviews the test results and determines that they indicate a substantial risk of serious illness or death the provider shall make a reasonable effort to notify the person tested of the presumptive finding within 14 days after the provider has received the test results.
(d) For the purposes of this section:
(1) “Health care provider” means any person licensed or certified pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 500) of the Business and Professions Code, or licensed pursuant to the Osteopathic Initiative Act or the Chiropractic Initiative Act, or licensed pursuant to Chapter 2.5 (commencing with Section 1440) of Division 2 of the Health and Safety Code, and any clinic, health dispensary, or health facility licensed pursuant to Division 2 (commencing with Section 1200) of the Health and Safety Code. “Health care provider” also includes the legal representatives of a health care provider.
(2) “Professional negligence” means an action for personal injury or wrongful death proximately caused by a health care provider’s negligent act or omission to act in the rendering of professional services, provided that such services are within the scope of services for which the health care provider is licensed and are not within any restriction imposed by the licensing agency or any licensed hospital.
(3) “Unsolicited referral” means any written report regarding the health, physical or mental condition of any person which was forwarded or delivered to a health care provider without prior request by such provider.
(4) A “multiphasic screening unit” means a facility which does not prescribe or treat patients but performs diagnostic testing only.
(Amended by Stats. 1980, Ch. 676, Sec. 38.)
Last modified: October 25, 2018