New law grew out of response to Exeter Hospital Hepatitis C outbreak

 

Published: 10.21.14

 

In the fall of 2011 the news broke that David Kwiatkowski, a traveling medical technician, had infected more than 30 Exeter Hospital patients with Hepatitis C, using covert drug-diversion tactics that eluded criminal background checks and drug tests.

News of this catastrophe rocked the region. Health care facilities everywhere asked how did this happen and could this happen to us.

To prevent this scenario from happening again, Exeter Hospital worked with one of its doctors, who is also a legislator — Rep. Thomas Sherman, D-Rye, to craft a legislative solution. That solution is House Bill 658, which creates the New Hampshire Board of Registered Medical Technicians.

HB 658 took effect on Oct. 1.

The new law establishes a five-member panel attached to the Department of Health and Human Services. It has five members: the DHHS commissioner or his designee; three licensed health care providers; and one public member.

The board’s principal function is to oversee and administer the licensing of New Hampshire medical technicians. The board has the power to issue licenses, investigate and discipline licensees, and impose monetary and non-monetary sanctions.

But the board has not yet been created, thus causing consternation among those health care facilities and medical technicians who faced a compliance deadline of Oct. 1.

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