Archives: December 2012

Medical malpractice bills pass Senate, head to House for lame duck vote

LANSING, MI — Senators passed changes to the state’s medical malpractice laws after removing controversial parts of the bill package. The “Patients First Reform Package” now heads to the House for consideration during the last remaining weeks of the current legislative session. The Senate did not vote on SB 1116, which states that a health care professional or facility would not be liable in a malpractice case if the doctor acted with reasonable and good-faith belief that the conduct was well-founded in medicine and in the patient’s best interests. Personal injury lawyers and their clients vocally opposed the bill, saying that it would give bad doctors immunity from their misdoings. Sen. Roger Kahn, a cardiologist and Republican from Saginaw Township, said he introduced the bill to address inequities in liability statutes and curb a looming physician shortage. “1116 is one that really set out some new ideas, and as such is more controversial, and as such, more time consuming,” Kahn said on Thursday. “We don’t have the time.” Kahn said he’ll likely try to bring the bill back next year. Senators approved the three other bills in the package: • SB 1115, which limits medical malpractice damage awards, passed 36-2…

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December 2012 Newsletter

Protect Patients Now Volume 7, Issue 12 December 2012 Newsletter E-Newsletter Special points of interest: “Plan B” for Averting Fiscal Cliff Includes Medical Liability Reform Michigan Legislature Makes Year-End Push for Liability Reform Happy Holidays from Protect Patients Now “Plan B” for Averting Fiscal Cliff Includes Medical Liability Reform In an effort to avert the impending fiscal cliff before spending cuts and tax increases go into effect at year’s end, Speaker John Boehner has introduced a so-called “Plan B” for Congress to address this issue in the short term while negotiations continue. Included in the legislation is H.R. 5, the HEALTH Act, a version of which was passed by the House of Representatives earlier this year. As we know, the HEALTH Act enacts a $250,000 reasonable limit on noneconomic damages; ensures that attorneys’ fees are reasonable; creates a “fair share” rule, by which damages are allocated fairly, in direct proportion to fault; and provides a safe harbor from punitive damages for products that meet applicable FDA safety requirements. The HEALTH Act and its medical liability reform provisions are appropriately included in the bill because of their impact on deficit reduction efforts. According to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office and the summary of…

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