(a) For the purposes of this section:
(1) “Provider” means an attorney, a health care professional, as defined in section 19a-12a , a person who owns or operates a business or entity that provides legal or health care services, a person who, by such person's representations, creates a reasonable belief that such person or such person's practice, business or entity can provide legal or health care services or a person employed by or acting on behalf of any of such persons;
(2) “Public media” means telephone directories, professional directories, newspapers and other periodicals, radio, television, billboards and mailed or electronically transmitted written communications that do not involve in-person contact with a specific prospective client, patient or customer; and
(3) “Runner” means an individual who, for a pecuniary benefit, procures or attempts to procure a client, patient or customer at the direction of, request of or in cooperation with a provider whose purpose is to seek to obtain benefits under an insurance contract or assert a claim against an insured or an insurance company for providing services to the client, patient or customer, or to obtain benefits under or assert a claim against a state or federal health care benefits program or prescription drug assistance program, except that “runner” does not include (A) an individual who procures or attempts to procure a client, patient or customer for a provider through public media, (B) an individual who refers a prospective client, patient or customer to a provider as otherwise authorized by law, (C) an individual who facilitates, presents or speaks at a meeting, program or seminar that is open to the public and at which information about a provider's services are discussed, or (D) an individual who is a bona fide employee of a provider who responds to an inquiry or request for information initiated by a prospective client, patient or customer.
(b) An individual who knowingly acts as a runner or uses, solicits, directs, hires or employs another individual to act as a runner shall be fined not more than five thousand dollars or imprisoned not more than one year, or both.
(c) The provisions of subsection (b) of this section shall not apply to the referral of individuals between attorneys, between health care professionals or between attorneys and health care professionals.
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