Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA)
FTCA coverage for eligible Bureau of Primary Health Care (BPHC) grantees was initially legislated through the Federally Supported Health Centers Assistance Act (FSHCAA) of 1992 (Public Law 102- 501) by amending section 224 of the Public Health Service (PHS) Act. The eligible entities (“Health Centers”) are Migrant Health Centers, Community Health Centers, Health Care for the Homeless grantees, and Health Services for Public Housing Residents grantees. The FSHCAA of 1995, signed into law by the President on December 26, 1995, clarified the 1992 Act and eliminated its sunset provision, making the program permanent. The intent of the law was to increase the availability of funds for the provision of primary health care services by reducing the expenditure of Health Center funds for malpractice insurance premiums. The FSHCAAs accomplish this by making deemed Health Centers (and their officers, directors, employees and certain contractors) Federal employees for the purpose of medical malpractice. As Federal employees these organizations and individuals are immune from medical malpractice suits for actions within the scope of their employment. Potential plaintiffs must follow the requirements of the FTCA for relief. The FTCA applies to acts or omissions of covered entities in the performance of covered activities.
HRSA-Federal Tort Claims Act Program
The Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA) governs nearly all claims against the United States for torts committed by government employees. Under the Federally Supported Health Centers Assistance Act (FSHCAA) of 1991 and 1995, employees of eligible Health Centers funded under the Public Health Service Act can be deemed to be federal employees for purposes of medical malpractice claims. This program is designed to reduce or eliminate the need to purchase malpractice insurance.
Activities that are outlined in the scope of the approved project(s) are covered. Activities that step outside of the approved projects are not covered. As to activities which are outside of an approved project a “GAP” insurance program is recommended to provide insurance coverage for any such activities. This “GAP” program provides malpractice coverage for the entity and its employees, including physicians. Normally, entities carry $1,000,000 per occurrence/$3,000,000 aggregate for this policy, although additional limits are available.
For more information, please contact Susan Gaines, Vice President of Community Development + Financial Services at [email protected].