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2018 WV Legislature Extends $125 Fee to All Licensed Physicians Through 2021


ENACTMENT OF ASSESSMENT FEE UPON PHYSICIANS

The West Virginia Legislature, during its 2016 regular session, passed Senate Bill 602 which closes the Patient Injury Compensation Fund (PICF) within the Medical Practice Liability Act (MPLA).  Governor Ear Ray Tomblin signed the bill on March 29, 2016, with an effective date of July 1, 2016.  During the 2018 Legislative Session, the PICF Assessment Fee was extended until December 31, 2021.

In order to satisfy the outstanding liability of the PICF, SB 602 creates an assessment on physicians, hospitals and trial lawyers who settle malpractice claims.  According to the new law, physicians must be assessed an additional $125 for licenses issued or renewed for each of the next two renewal cycles.  A physician cannot be granted an initial license or renewal of an existing license by the licensing board if the assessment has not been paid.  Additionally, a license which expires as a result of a failure to pay the required assessment cannot be reinstated until the assessment has been paid in full.

The new legislation specifies collection of the assessment in calendar year 2016 through calendar year 2021.  However, because the West Virginia Board of Osteopathic Medicine will have concluded a licensing renewal period on June 30, 2016 – prior to the effective date of the legislation – the Board extended the assessment into calendar year 2020 to achieve the required two cycles.  That has now been extended until December 2021 by the 2018 Legislature

Those physicians exempted from the assessment include:

            1)         A resident physician who is a graduate of an osteopathic medical school

                        and who is participating in an accredited full-time program of post-

                        graduate medical education in this state;

            2)         A physician on active duty in the U.S. armed forces and who would not

                        be reimbursed by the armed forces for the assessment;

            3)         A physician who practices solely under a special volunteer license;

            4)         A physician who practices less than 40 hours a year providing medical

                        genetic services to patients in West Virginia.

SB 602 has charged the Board of Osteopathic Medicine with the collection of this fee.  All proceeds from the assessment will go directly to the West Virginia Board of Risk Management (BRIM) to satisfy the outstanding PICF liability.  The Board retains no portion of this fee and will bear the costs of implementing and maintaining the fee collection.

 

If you have any questions about the assessment, please contact the Board of Osteopathic Medicine at (304) 558-6095.

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