Provider and Facility Liability
Many providers and facility operators may be concerned with legal liability for volunteer services. The Volunteer Health Services Program allows licensed healthcare providers and medical facilities to provide volunteer services for medically indigent Wyoming residents and be protected from liability for medical negligence under the state’s sovereign immunity. By entering into a contract with the state, the volunteer provider is deemed to be a public employee and the facility is deemed to be a state medical facility for purposes of the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act. Any malpractice claim arising from uncompensated services rendered to eligible patients would be defended and paid by the state under the Governmental Claims Act. The protection is limited to services within the scope of professional duties.
Provider and Facility Eligibility
Any healthcare provider licensed or certified by Wyoming law is eligible to enter into a contract under this program. Physicians, dentists, physician assistants, nurses and advance practice nurses, pharmacists, optometrists, psychiatrists, psychologists, hospitals, and clinics will be critical to the success of this program. It is through your generosity in giving time, talent and expertise that necessary services will be provided to some of our state’s most vulnerable residents.
Eligible facilities include hospitals, clinics, offices, nursing homes or other facilities where a healthcare provider provides health care to patients, and includes facility employees and staff members.
Services provided under this program are intended for low-income persons. An eligible patient:
- Has income at or below 200 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, and
- Is not covered under a health insurance or healthcare policy, contract or plan, or
- Is covered under a health insurance or healthcare policy, contract or plan, but was denied coverage by the policy, contract or plan.
Eligibility is determined by the volunteer provider or facility, based upon information provided by the patient. The volunteer’s legal protection under the program continues even if the patient is later found to be ineligible.
Required Disclosure Statement
Patients receiving services from a participating volunteer healthcare provider are required to sign a disclosure statement explaining they are receiving medical care from a volunteer healthcare provider who is considered a public employee of the state under the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act while providing volunteer health services and that the provider’s liability will be limited by the provisions of the Wyoming Governmental Claims Act. The disclosure must be signed by the patient or the patient’s legal representative before medical services are rendered. The patient and provider should each keep a copy of the signed disclosure form for a minimum of two years.