HB 515 (BR 1351) - J. Jenkins
AN ACT relating to registered nurses.
Create new sections of KRS 314.041 to 314.050 to establish the patient advocacy duties and rights of direct care registered nurses including free speech, acting exclusively in the interests of patients, and avoidance of conflicts of interest; create new sections of KRS Chapter 216B to establish the protection of free speech for direct care registered nurses and other health professionals who are responsible for patient care; establish the content of protected free speech; establish the right of direct care registered nurses to oppose a policy found to conflict with patient advocacy; establish the right of patients and direct care registered nurses to file a complaint when a health care facility is found to interfere with patient advocacy; prohibit a health care facility from denial of and interference with patient advocacy rights of direct care registered nurses; establish content of actions deemed to interfere with the patient advocacy duties of direct care registered nurses; prohibit a hospital or health care facility from retaliation for the exercise of rights and duties of direct care registered nurses for patient advocacy; require a hospital or other health care facility to pay damages to employee for failure to comply; prohibit retaliation or reprisal by a health care facility against a patient or employee who has filed a complaint; require reinstatement of a direct care registered nurse who has been discriminated against in employment due to patient advocacy rights and duties; permit an action to be brought no later than two years after the date of the last violation and no later than 3 years in the case of a willful violation; require every health facility to post notice of the rights of registered nurses as patient advocates and employees; establish a civil fine of no more than $25,000 for a health facility found in violation; establish a civil fine of no more than $25,000 for the management, nursing service, or medical personnel of a health facility found to be in violation; establish that fines collected will be deposited in the state general fund; require access for the Cabinet for Health and Family Services to all records pertaining to patient advocacy for investigation of possible violations; require each health facility to maintain all records pertaining to compliance with patient advocacy.
Feb 23-introduced in House
Feb 24-to Health & Welfare (H)
Feb 27-posted in committee