(a) As used in this Code section, the term:
(1) “Capper,” “runner,” or “steerer” means a person who receives a pecuniary benefit from a practitioner or health care service provider, whether directly or indirectly, to solicit, procure, or attempt to procure a client, patient, or customer at the direction or request of, or in cooperation with, a practitioner or health care service provider whose purpose is to obtain benefits under a contract of insurance or to assert a claim against an insured or an insurer for providing services to the client, patient, or customer. Capper, runner, or steerer shall not include:
(A) Any insurance company or agent or employee thereof who provides referrals or recommendations to its insureds; or
(B) A practitioner or health care service provider who procures clients, patients, or customers through the use of public media or by referrals or recommendations from other practitioners or health care service providers.
(2) “Practitioner” means an attorney, health care professional, owner or partial owner of a health care practice or facility, or any person employed or acting on behalf of any of the individuals in this paragraph.
(3) “Public media” means telephone directories, professional directories, newspapers and other periodicals, radio and television, billboards, and mailed or electronically transmitted written communications that do not involve in-person contact with a specific prospective client, patient, or customer.
(b) Except as provided for in paragraph (5) of subsection (a) of Code Section 50-18-72 , it is unlawful for any person in an individual capacity or in a capacity as a law enforcement officer, law enforcement records staff member, wrecker services staff member, emergency staff member, physician, hospital employee, or attorney to solicit, release, or sell any information relating to the parties of a motor vehicle collision for personal financial gain. This subsection shall not apply to mass public media advertisement and solicitation.
(c) It is unlawful for:
(1) Any person in an individual capacity or in a capacity as a public or private employee or any firm, corporation, partnership, or association to act as a capper, runner, or steerer for any practitioner or health care service provider. This paragraph shall not prohibit an attorney or health care provider from making a referral and receiving compensation as is permitted under applicable professional rules of conduct; and
(2) Any practitioner or health care service provider to compensate or give anything of value to a person acting as a capper, runner, or steerer. It is also unlawful for any capper, runner, or steerer to recommend or secure a practitioner's or health care service provider's employment by a client, patient, or customer if such practitioner or health care service provider obtains or intends to obtain benefits under a contract of insurance or asserts a claim against an insured or an insurer for providing services to the client, patient, or customer.
(d) Any natural person convicted of a violation of this Code section shall, on the first offense, be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment of not less than 30 days and a fine not to exceed $1,000.00. Any natural person convicted of a second or subsequent violation of this Code section shall be guilty of a felony and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by imprisonment of not more than ten years and by a fine of not more than $100,000.00 per violation.
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