Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

New Law: Medical reserve protections

Published (4/25/2008)
By Patty Ostberg
Share on: 

Minnesota Responds Medical Reserve Corps will have workers’ compensation and liability coverage when volunteering for disasters, under a new law signed April 17 by Gov. Tim Pawlenty.

Sponsored by Rep. Ryan Winkler (DFL-Golden Valley) and Sen. Linda Higgins (DFL-Mpls), the law, funded by a federal grant, gives certain registered health professionals the coverage. If they are called to a disaster outside their jurisdiction by the health commissioner, they are also covered by state workers’ compensation and liability policies.

The law is effective April 18, 2008.

According to a Health Department fact sheet: “Recent disasters have highlighted inconsistencies in volunteer protections leading to uncertainty among volunteers and local coordinators.”

As of 2007 there are more than 7,000 volunteers in the program, and “people want to volunteer during a disaster, but recognize they need clear liability and workers compensation protections because of the inherent dangers in deployment during disasters,” the fact sheet states.

Under the new law, when the corps participates under the Interstate Emergency Management Assistance Compact, a political subdivision or its officers and employees are not liable for any act or omission made in good faith for the maintenance or use of any equipment or supplies used in connection with the assistance.

The law also allows for health professionals from other states who are registered in the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals to practice in Minnesota while an emergency declaration is in effect.

Participating boards of health in the corps can enter into written aid agreements for deployment of paid employees and receive funding for emergency preparedness or pandemic influenza planning from the state or federal government, under the law.


Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

At Issue: On the forefront
Minnesota looks to set the national stage for health care reform
(view full story) Published 5/30/2008

At Issue: Health reform still in play
Governor nixes months of work; supporters remain optimistic
(view full story) Published 5/16/2008

Minnesota Index
Figures and statistics on elder Minnesotans
(view full story) Published 5/2/2008

At Issue: Regulating patient safety
Hospitals sometimes choose between more nurses or rationing care
(view full story) Published 4/25/2008

At Issue: Hungry for help
Food shelf needs are growing across state
(view full story) Published 4/18/2008

At Issue: No rooms for those in crisis
Psychiatric beds are full, but solutions are as complex as the problem
(view full story) Published 3/28/2008

At Issue: An umbrella of coverage
A year in the making, health care proposal lays out an aggressive timeline
(view full story) Published 3/21/2008

At Issue: Primary care — your life depends on it
A system overhaul is needed, working on a solution
(view full story) Published 3/7/2008

Minnesota Index
Figures and statistics on health insurance in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 2/29/2008