Legal Memorandum: Claims for Damages against Health Care Providers

Issue: Does the Kansas Tort Claims Act ("KTCA") apply to care provided at adult care homes or long term care facilities?

Area of Law: Personal Injury & Negligence
Keywords: Kansas Tort Claims Act ("KTCA"); Adult care homes or long term care facilities; Health care provider
Jurisdiction: Kansas
Cited Cases: 647 P.2d 1327; 231 Kan. 699
Cited Statutes: Kan. Stat. § 75-6102(c), 75-6102(a), 75-6102(b); Kan. Stat. Ann. § 75-6115; Kan. Stat § 40-3401; Kan. Stat. § 40-3202(m), § 40-2116
Date: 09/01/2000

                       The KTCA provides in pertinent part: "Subject to the limitations of this Act, each governmental entity shall be liable for damages caused by the negligent or wrongful act or omission of any of its employees while acting within the scope of their employment."  A "governmental entity" is defined as "state" or "municipality."  Kan. Stat. § 75-6102(c) (2000).  "State" means the State of Kansas and any department or branch of state government, or any agency, authority, institution or other instrumentality thereof.  Id. § 75-6102(a).  "Municipality" means any county, township, city, school district or other political or taxing subdivision of the state, or any agency, authority, institution or other instrumentality thereof.  Id. § 75-6102(b).

The KTCA does not apply to claims arising from the rendering or failure to render professional services by a "health care provider."  Kan. Stat. Ann. § 75-6115.  It does, however, cover professional services rendered by a "hospital owned by a municipality and the employees thereof."  Id.  A "hospital" is defined as a "long-term care facility".  "Adult care home," "nursing home," "nursing assistant" and "nursing home management company" are not included in the definition of a "healthcare provider".  Consequently, if the nursing home is a long-term care facility, owned by a municipality, then the KTCA will apply to claims arising from the provision of professional services. 

Neither adult care homes, nursing homes, nursing assistants, nor management companies are specifically enumerated in the statutory definition of a "health care provider."  See Kan. Stat § 40-3401.  The canon of statutory interpretation, […]

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