SECTION 1. Chapter 111 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 53H the following section:-
Section 53I. (a) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, no health care provider shall knowingly or intentionally violate department rules and regulations adopted under this chapter, at the direct request of a patient, authorized caregiver or other interested person. Any violation shall be documented and reported by the health care provider to the department within 72 hours. The department may impose penalties including, but not limited to, a fine of up to $5,000 per violation or complaint to the relevant board of registration. A health care provider who fails to report a violation, as so provided, may be subject to additional penalties up to $50,000 per violation.
(b) Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, a health care provider shall not knowingly or intentionally designate, mark, label or confer any special status unrelated to medical diagnosis, treatment or care to a patient due to socio-economic status or direct relationship to the health care provider. The department may impose penalties including, but not limited to, a fine of up to $5,000 per violation or complaint to the relevant board of registration.
(c) A penalty assessed under this section shall not preclude the department from assessing fees for violations under this chapter.
(d) A health care provider reporting a violation pursuant to this section shall be afforded protection from retaliatory action in accordance with section 187 of chapter 149.
(e) The commissioner may promulgate regulations to enforce this section.
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