March 2017 Newsletter

  New Congress makes early efforts in support of medical liability reform Just over a month after a new Congress and President were in position, medical liability reform appeared at the top of their agenda as two comprehensive bills were introduced. In late February, the House Judiciary Committee approved the Protecting Access to Care Act, a comprehensive medical liability reform bill introduced by Representative Steve King (R-IA). The Protecting Access to Care Act, H.R. 1215, is modeled after proven reforms already in place in Texas, California, and many other states around the country that have had a positive effect on increasing patient access to care and keeping health care costs affordable for patients and physicians. More recently introduced is the ACCESS (Accessible Care by Curbing Excessive lawSuitS) Act, H.R. 1704, which adds to the gaining momentum for liability reform in the House. President Trump has also expressed his support for medical liability reforms in his address to a Joint Session of Congress. “…We should implement legal reforms that protect patients and doctors from unnecessary costs that drive up the price of insurance,” President Trump stated. “The HCLA is pleased that the House of Representatives and President Trump recognize the need…

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February 2017 Newsletter

  Act NOW for Medical Liability Reform – New Federal Bill Introduced Our grassroots network has been activated to generate support for the Protecting Access to Care Act (H.R. 1215), a new federal bill introduced last Friday that is based on proven state medical liability reforms and which will tackle health care costs that are rising as a result of a broken system. The Protecting Access to Care Act, introduced by Rep. Steve King (R-IA), includes well-known, traditional reforms that ensure full and unlimited recovery of economic damages, allowing for payment of past and future medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and other out of pocket expenses.  The legislation also permits the additional recovery of up to $250,000 for non-economic damages, such as damages awarded for pain and suffering. The bill will be considered by the House Judiciary Committee TOMORROW (Tuesday). Click here to get contact information for committee members and express your support of this critical legislation. The Protecting Access to Care Act also includes a reasonable statute of limitations for filing lawsuits and limits attorney fees, allowing for speedier resolution of claims, and ensuring that damage awards go to deserving patients – not personal injury lawyers. It also…

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January 2017 Newsletter

  No false alarm on medical liability issues Responding to a Washington Post article earlier this month that charged advocates of medical liability reform with unnecessarily sounding the alarms on the need for fixes, the HCLA submitted a letter to the editor outlining the burden of the current system and urging passage of proposed patient protection measures. Our nation’s medical liability system is costly and inefficient – with bright spots in states that have proactively addressed the problems. “States like California and Texas have been successful in compensating patients fairly, controlling costs, and increasing access,” the letter explains. “Thirteen years after passing reforms in Texas, 118 counties saw net gains in emergency room physicians – including 53 counties that previously had none.” The letter cites figures that show how replicating those efforts would have an exponential effect on our federal health care costs: “The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office found that $55 billion in federal health savings and $62 billion in deficit reductions could be achieved over 10 years, if the federal government passed reforms like those in California and Texas.” “Lawmakers, policy experts, and the public agree reform is needed. When 75% of claims are meritless, and 33% of the…

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