Archives: June 2015

June 2015 Newsletter

House and Senate Work Together on Saving Lives, Saving Costs Act The Saving Lives, Saving Costs Act has been introduced in both the House and Senate, and supporters say it offers physicians who document adherence to certain evidence-based clinical-practice guidelines a safe harbor from medical liability litigation. An attorney, Congressman Andy Barr of Kentucky has taken the lead in sponsoring the bill in the House of Representatives, which currently has 10 cosponsors. He first introduced the Saving Lives, Saving Costs Act in the 113th Congress. “By affording doctors who adhere to evidence-based best practice guidelines a legal safe harbor, the Saving Lives, Saving Costs Act will improve outcomes for patients, reduce health care costs and keep more good doctors in practice,” said Congressman Barr. Senator John Barrasso, a physician, introduced the measure in the Senate, and was joined by Sen. Shelley Moore Capito of West Virginia in support of the measure. “Our bill takes a reasonable approach that will protect patients and allow medical professionals to spend more time focusing on practicing medicine—and less time in the courtroom,” said Senator Barrasso. HCLA and Protect Patients Now have not taken a position on the legislation as several areas of concern exist…

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My View: Lawsuit reforms will create jobs in Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner’s call for reasonable lawsuit reforms represents a vital step in an economic come back in Illinois. The time for lawsuit reform is long overdue. For years, attempts to enact meaningful lawsuit reform has been met with fierce resistance in the Illinois General Assembly and unfortunately this year is no exception. Illinois Lawsuit Abuse Watch applauds the governor’s commitment to lawsuit reform legislation and urges Illinois residents to call their lawmakers and make their support for the governor’s agenda known to their elected Representatives and Senators. One of the governor’s lawsuit reform measure is a proposal to stop personal injury lawyers from shopping around for the friendliest court jurisdiction, even if the lawsuit has nothing to do with that jurisdiction. This practice, often called “venue shopping,” is all too common in Illinois. For far too long, Illinois has been a magnet for personal injury lawyers and plaintiffs from all over the country who travel to Illinois and clog our courts with junk lawsuits that have nothing to do with Illinois, all in the hopes of striking it rich playing our state’s plaintiff-friendly lawsuit lottery. It’s just common sense to require lawsuits filed in Illinois to have an actual…

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Medical Liability Reform in Illinois

Each year, Illinois loses about half of the physicians who complete a medical residency in our state.  Among those who leave, two thirds cite Illinois’ reputation for lawsuit abuse as an influencing factor. An onerous medical lawsuit climate also forces existing doctors to drop or limit certain high-risk procedures and order more tests than medically necessary, a practice known as “defensive medicine.” States with strong medical liability protections spend less on health care through lower medical liability insurance premiums and decreased spending associated with defensive medicine. They are also more likely to attract and retain a strong physician workforce. Illinois physicians believe in fair compensation for patients who are harmed while receiving medical care.  It is not our intent to impede anyone’s right to file a lawsuit.  However, reforms are needed to ensure Illinoisans’ access to medical care. We urge lawmakers to deliberate on the big-picture health care needs of our state when considering lawsuit reform.

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