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Congressman Steve King defends his medical malpractice tort reform bill

PR Web | National, News | Source | August 24, 2017

Healthcare Matters announced today that its video interview of United States Congressman Steve King — sponsor of the Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017— is available on Cunningham Group’s website. The Healthcare Matters interview of Rep. Steve King focused on the medical professional liability tort reforms contained in his Protecting Access to Care Act. The congressmen’s legislation would create a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages, among other provisions that would preempt state laws governing medical malpractice lawsuits in the areas of statutes of limitation, joint and several liability, product liability and attorney contingency fees. In the interview, Rep. King also defended his Protecting Access to Care Act against claims by some of his more conservative colleagues that it violates the concept of states’ rights as well as argued why his medical liability reforms could and should pass independent of whether Congress succeeds in “repealing and replacing” the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). About Healthcare Matters Healthcare Matters is an internet television program that explores the intersection of healthcare practice, the business of medicine and the law. Hosted by Michael Matray – editor of Medical Liability Monitor, the medical professional liability industry’s publication of record – Healthcare Matters investigates pertinent issues facing…

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Tort reforms facing legal challenges in three states

AMA Wire | Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, National, News | Source | August 23, 2017

In contrast with the federal government—where a House-passed medical liability reform bill languishes in the Senate—many states have found success enacting tort reforms that better serve patients and physicians. But court cases are challenging reforms in place in at least three states. In Maryland and Michigan, plaintiffs’ attorneys are using what is described as “artful pleading” to skirt pre-trial measures that assess the merits of a complaint and its worthiness for going to court. And in Kentucky, a suit has challenged the constitutionality of its new law authorizing medical review boards to assess the merits of a complaint. The Litigation Center of the American Medical Association has filed amicus briefs in the Maryland and Michigan cases in which patients sued for injuries incurred after falling. By claiming ordinary negligence instead of medical malpractice, the plaintiffs bypassed review processes. The cases have gone through the trial and appellate courts and are now before the high court in both states. Dispute-resolution office bypassed in Maryland In Davis v. Frostberg Facility Operations, patient Sheila Davis was admitted to a nursing facility following back surgery. At one point, her mattress came loose and she fell on the floor. A nurse placed her on a mechanical lift to help her…

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Rural America’s Childbirth Crisis: The Fight to Save Whitney Brown

The Wall Street Journal | National, News, Tennessee | Source | August 11, 2017

Whitney Brown was in labor with her first baby when suddenly she couldn’t breathe. Convulsions shook her body. Ms. Brown’s blood pressure and oxygen levels dropped, and the baby’s heart rate plunged. Nurses at Saint Thomas River Park Hospital called obstetrician Dawnmarie Riley, who minutes later burst into the operating room in such a rush her hospital scrubs were inside out. Dr. Riley delivered the baby girl in an emergency caesarean section, and Ms. Brown was taken to intensive care. Doctors at River Park, the only hospital in a central Tennessee county of 40,000 people, didn’t know what had caused Ms. Brown’s seizure. But they knew one thing: The 28-year-old woman needed more than they could provide. What followed was a race to save Ms. Brown, a high-risk medical challenge that would involve frantic requests for transportation, an hour-and-a-half ambulance ride through mountains and the rain, and last-minute medical interventions as she tore through the hospital’s blood supplies. Since the start of the century, it has become more dangerous to have a baby in rural America. Pregnancy-related complications are rising across the U.S., and many require specialized care. For some women, the time and distance from hospitals with the resources…

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