Public Laws

124th Legislature

Second Regular Session



Chapter 533

H.P. 1145 - L.D. 1617

An Act Enabling Expedited Partner Therapy

Be it enacted by the People of the State of Maine as follows:

Sec. 1. 22 MRSA c. 251, sub-c. 3, art. 5 is enacted to read:

ARTICLE 5

EXPEDITED PARTNER THERAPY

1241. Definitions

As used in this article, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following terms have the following meanings.

1. Department. "Department" means the Department of Health and Human Services, Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.
2. Expedited partner therapy. "Expedited partner therapy" means prescribing, dispensing, furnishing or otherwise providing prescription antibiotic drugs to the sexual partner or partners of a person clinically diagnosed as infected with a sexually transmitted disease without physical examination of the partner or partners.
3. Health care professional. "Health care professional" means an allopathic physician licensed pursuant to Title 32, chapter 48, an osteopathic physician licensed pursuant to Title 32, chapter 36, a physician assistant who has been delegated the provision of sexually transmitted disease therapy or expedited partner therapy by that physician assistant's supervising physician, an advanced practice registered nurse who has a written collaborative agreement with a collaborating physician that authorizes the provision of sexually transmitted disease therapy or expedited partner therapy or an advanced practice registered nurse who possesses appropriate clinical privileges in accordance with Title 32, chapter 31.
4. Sexually transmitted disease. "Sexually transmitted disease" means a bacterial, viral, fungal or parasitic disease determined by rule of the department to be sexually transmitted, to be a threat to the public health and welfare and to be a disease for which a legitimate public interest will be served by providing for its regulation and treatment.

1242. Expedited partner therapy

Notwithstanding any other provision of law, a health care professional who makes a clinical diagnosis of a sexually transmitted disease may provide expedited partner therapy for the treatment of the sexually transmitted disease if in the judgment of the health care professional the sexual partner is unlikely or unable to present for comprehensive health care, including evaluation, testing and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. Expedited partner therapy is limited to a sexual partner who may have been exposed to a sexually transmitted disease within the previous 60 days and who is able to be contacted by the patient.

1. Counseling. A health care professional who provides expedited partner therapy shall provide counseling for the patient, including advice that all women and symptomatic persons, and in particular women with symptoms suggestive of pelvic inflammatory disease, are encouraged to seek medical attention. The health care professional shall also provide written materials provided by the department to be given by the patient to the sexual partner that include at a minimum the following:
A. A warning that a woman who is pregnant or might be pregnant should not take certain antibiotics and should immediately contact a health care professional for an examination;
B. Information about the antibiotic and dosage provided or prescribed; clear and explicit allergy and side effect warnings, including a warning that a sexual partner who has a history of allergy to the antibiotic or the pharmaceutical class of antibiotic should not take the antibiotic and should be immediately examined by a health care professional;
C. Information about the treatment and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases;
D. The requirement of abstinence until a period of time after treatment to prevent infecting others;
E. Notification of the importance of the sexual partner's receiving examination and testing for the human immunodeficiency virus and other sexually transmitted diseases and information regarding available resources;
F. Notification of the risk to the sexual partner, others and the public health if the sexually transmitted disease is not completely and successfully treated;
G. The responsibility of the sexual partner to inform that person's sexual partners of the risk of sexually transmitted disease and the importance of prompt examination and treatment;
H. Advice to all women and symptomatic persons, and in particular women with symptoms suggestive of pelvic inflammatory disease, to seek medical attention; and
I. Information other than the information under paragraphs A to H as determined necessary by the department.
2. Department to develop and disseminate materials. Taking into account the recommendations of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other nationally recognized medical authorities, the department shall provide information and technical assistance as appropriate to health care professionals who provide expedited partner therapy. The department shall develop and disseminate in electronic and other formats the following written materials:
A. Informational materials for sexual partners, as described in subsection 1;
B. Informational materials for persons who are repeatedly diagnosed with sexually transmitted diseases; and
C. Guidance for health care professionals on the safe and effective provision of expedited partner therapy.

The department may offer educational programs about expedited partner therapy for health care professionals and pharmacists licensed under the Maine Pharmacy Act.

3. Immunity for health care professional. A health care professional who provides expedited partner therapy in good faith without fee or compensation under this section and provides counseling and written materials as required in subsection 1 is not subject to civil or professional liability in connection with the provision of the therapy, counseling and materials, except in the case of willful and wanton misconduct. A health care professional is not subject to civil or professional liability for choosing not to provide expedited partner therapy.
4. Immunity for pharmacist or pharmacy. A pharmacist or pharmacy is not subject to civil or professional liability for choosing not to fill a prescription that would cause that pharmacist or pharmacy to violate any provision of the Maine Pharmacy Act.
5. Rules. The department shall adopt rules, which are routine technical rules pursuant to Title 5, chapter 375, subchapter 2-A, to implement this section. The department shall consider designating certain diseases as sexually transmitted diseases, including, but not limited to, chancroid, gonorrhea, granuloma inguinale, lymphogranuloma venereum, genital herpes simplex, chlamydia, nongonococcal urethritis, pelvic inflammatory disease, acute salpingitis, syphilis, Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome and human immunodeficiency virus, and shall consider the recommendations and classifications of the federal Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other nationally recognized medical authorities.

Sec. 2. 32 MRSA 2110 is enacted to read:

2110. Expedited partner therapy

An individual licensed under this chapter may not be disciplined for providing expedited partner therapy in accordance with the provisions of Title 22, chapter 251, subchapter 3, article 5.

Sec. 3. 32 MRSA 2600-B is enacted to read:

2600-B. Expedited partner therapy

An individual licensed under this chapter may not be disciplined for providing expedited partner therapy in accordance with the provisions of Title 22, chapter 251, subchapter 3, article 5.

Sec. 4. 32 MRSA 3300-B is enacted to read:

3300-B. Expedited partner therapy

An individual licensed under this chapter may not be disciplined for providing expedited partner therapy in accordance with the provisions of Title 22, chapter 251, subchapter 3, article 5.

Sec. 5. 32 MRSA 13794, as amended by PL 1999, c. 130, 14, is further amended by adding at the end a new paragraph to read:

A drug dispensed in accordance with the provisions of Title 22, chapter 251, subchapter 3, article 5 does not require the name of the patient's sexual partner on the label.

Sec. 6. 32 MRSA 13798 is enacted to read:

13798. Expedited partner therapy

An individual licensed under this chapter may not be disciplined for dispensing drugs pursuant to a lawful prescription in accordance with the provisions of Title 22, chapter 251, subchapter 3, article 5.

Sec. 7. Maine Revised Statutes headnote amended; revision clause. In the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 22, chapter 251, subchapter 3, in the subchapter headnote, the words "venereal diseases" are amended to read "sexually transmitted diseases" and the Revisor of Statutes shall implement this revision when updating, publishing or republishing the statutes.

Effective July 12, 2010

Office of the Revisor of Statutes
State House, Room 108
Augusta, ME 04333