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Oklahoma Volunteer Charitable Healthcare Provider Program (OVCHPP)


Oklahoma Volunteer Charitable Healthcare Provider Program Summary

The Oklahoma Volunteer Charitable Healthcare Provider Program offers state tort immunity from liability to health care providers who provide care to medically indigent persons at a free clinic, and who are working within the scope of employment of a charitable health care provider. The OVCHPP also offers healthcare providers state tort immunity from liability in instances where a patient is referred from a free clinic to another charitable healthcare provider for medical services.

Eligible providers will be considered state employees for liability purposes under the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act (GTCA) and would therefore be immune from personal liability for professional services when provided on behalf of the free clinic.

For providers who do not have malpractice insurance and are working within the scope of employment of a charitable health care provider, participation in the OVCHPP enables these providers to be considered employees of OSDH for purposes of the Oklahoma Governmental Tort Claims Act (GTCA). The OVCHPP seeks to encourage volunteers to provide health care to uninsured individuals by providing GTCA immunity to healthcare providers who would not otherwise have any coverage.

If an individual does have malpractice insurance, the GTCA states that this insurance will be primary in the event a claim is made against an individual with malpractice insurance.  However, participation in the OVCHPP allows providers to retain the immunity provided under the GTCA even though their malpractice insurance carrier may have to argue this legal issue. In addition, the OVCHPP protects providers by ensuring that if a claim is filed, the malpractice insurance carrier cannot use this claim against the healthcare provider in determining an increase in insurance rates nor whether to cancel any such policy, pursuant to statute. 

If a healthcare provider volunteers their services at a free clinic and seeks the protection of the GTCA, the provider must enter into an OVCHPP contract with OSDH.

Eligible Professional Types

A volunteer professional or a referred volunteer professional must be engaged in the active practice of a medical professional OR retired from a medically related profession, if still eligible to provide medically related professional services within this state.

Eligible professional providers include the following licensed professionals, in addition to persons licensed in accordance with 59 O.S. § 493.5, Special Volunteer License to Treat Indigent and Needy Persons - Eligible Volunteers:

Discipline Eligible Professional List
Allied Health Chiropractors, Dietitian/Nutritionist, Medical Assistant, Medical Laboratory Technologist, Medical Technician, Nuclear Medicine Technologist, Occupational Therapist, Orthopedic Technologist, Podiatrist, Radiology, Respiratory Therapist, Technician/Technologist, Sonographer, Speech/Language Pathologist
Behavioral Health Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor, Licensed Behavioral Practitioner, Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Licensed Practical Nurse, Licensed Professional Counselor, Marital/Family Therapist,  Psychologist
Dental Health Dentist, Dental Assistant, Dental Technician
Emergency Care Emergency Medical Technician, Paramedic
Medical Physician, Physician Assistant
Nursing Advanced Practice Nurse or Vocational Nurse, Certified Nurse Assistant, Licensed Practical Nurse, Registered Nurse
Pharmacy Pharmacist, Pharmacy Technician
Veterinarian Veterinarian, Veterinary Technician

Click here to learn more about the Special Volunteer License to Treat Indigent and Needy Persons, which is issued free of fees or continuing education requirements.

Registration Forms

Organization Registration - New Free Clinics

Application Links Description

Free Clinic or FQHC Organization Registration

Contact E-mail: Cheryl Kemp

Phone: (405) 271-9444, Ext. 56586

If you manage or are part of the office staff for a free clinic or Federally Qualified Health Center, please fill out the web form to register with the OVCHPP. Upon review of this registration, our office will contact you to ensure that eligible healthcare providers at the registered organization receive information as to filling an application to enter into a contractual relationship with the OSDH for the purposes of immunity provided under the GTCA.

Volunteer Registration - New Health Professionals:

Application Links Description

New Volunteers - Web Form

Contact E-mail: Cheryl Kemp

Phone: (405) 271-9444, Ext. 56586

If you are a health professional that works with either a free clinic or Federally Qualified Health Center, please fill out the web form to register for the first time with the OVCHPP. Upon review of this registration, our office will contact you to ensure that eligible healthcare providers at the registered organization receive information as to filling an application to enter into a contractual relationship with the OSDH for the purposes of immunity provided under the GTCA.

Volunteer Registration - Renewals for Health Professionals

Application Links Description

Volunteer Renewal - Web Form

Contact E-mail: Cheryl Kemp

Phone: (405) 271-9444, Ext. 56586

If you are a provider that volunteers in a free clinic who has already registered with the OVCHPP program, please fill out the web form to renew your contract for the upcoming year. required to renew your contract with the Oklahoma State Department of Health by June 30 of each year. 

Free Clinic Patient Referral:

Application Links Description

Referral Form Link

Contact E-mail: Cheryl Kemp

Phone: (405) 271-9444, Ext. 56586

If you are a free health care clinic and your providers wish to make a referral to a sub-specialist who will see the referred patient for free, please use the link to the left to utilize the referral form. The referral form can be filled out and sent to the sub-specialist, under the following conditions:

  •  The referring provider working in your clinic must have a current contract with the OVCHPP to be covered for the purposes of immunity.
  • In addition, the healthcare specialist receiving your patient referral must have a current contract with the OVCHPP program for the purposes of immunity provided under the GCTA. 

Referrals can still be made to any specialist you deem appropriate, but the provider will not be covered for immunity under the GCTA without having established a contract with OSDH for that purpose.

Contact Information
Cheryl Kemp
Program Grant Consultant      
1000 NE 10th Street, Room 915
Oklahoma City 73117-1299
Phone: (405) 271-9444, ext. 56586
Fax: (405) 271-1225
Email: CherylK@health.ok.gov

 

 

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