AAOS May 1, 2018
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State Corner: UEVHPA Is Important for Orthopaedic Surgeons

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State Corner: UEVHPA Is Important for Orthopaedic Surgeons

The Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act (UEVHPA) is policy developed by the Uniform Law Commission that recognizes, during a declared emergency, the licensure of physicians and health practitioners in other states if those professionals have registered with a public or private registration system. At its October 2017 meeting in San Diego, CA, the American College of Surgeons revised and updated their support of UEVHPA.

AAOS members are uniquely qualified to assist during disasters. Orthopaedic surgeons with their training in trauma and critical care, could provide life-saving care in emergency situations. Currently UEVHPA is law in 17 states and is being considered by 2 state legislatures in their 2018 legislative sessions. Currently, Arkansas, Colorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Texas, Utah and West Virginia.

The UEVHPA policy provides for many protections for physicians and their patients. First, volunteer physicians must register in advance with UEVHPA which imposes rigorous standards to who can qualify. Second, UEVHPA extends emergency volunteer rights to the private sector. Before UEVHPA is passed in a state, only public employees are protected by emergency volunteer rights. Finally, UEVHPA clarifies that liability and workers compensation coverage is extended to physicians in emergency situations.

These policy changes are crucial to engaging and recruiting physicians and surgeons to declared emergencies. The UEVHPA was developed in response to the significant legal and licensing barriers to volunteer physicians and health care practitioners who would like to provide care in times of a declared emergency.

Click here for a factsheet on the bill.

Click here for a summary of the bill.

Click here for the model legislation.