Bill Status of HB1599 94th General Assembly
Short Description: MEDICAL MALPRACTICE REFORM
Rep. Daniel V. Beiser
| 1/9/2007||House||Session Sine Die|
Statutes Amended In Order of Appearance
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Medical Practice Act of 1987. Provides that the Director may select up to 3 Deputy Medical Coordinators (instead of one). Provides that, in the event of the settlement of any claim or cause of action in favor of the claimant or the reduction to final judgment of any civil action in favor of the plaintiff, the claim, cause of action, or civil action being grounded on the allegation that a person licensed under the Act was negligent in providing care, the Department shall have an additional period of 2 years (instead of one year) from the date of notification to the Department of the settlement or final judgment in which to investigate and commence formal disciplinary proceedings. Provides that the Director shall employ not less than one full-time investigator for every 3,000 (instead of 5,000) physicians licensed in the State. Provides that the Department shall expunge the records of any investigation concluded by dismissal or closure and any discipline solely for administrative matters 3 years after final disposition or after the statute of limitations has expired, whichever is greater. Removes language requiring the written consent of a patient for the release of the name or other means of identification of a patient in a report to the Disciplinary Board. Amends the Health Care Arbitration Act. Provides that no health care arbitration agreement shall be valid after 10 years (instead of 2 years) from the date of its execution. Amends the Code of Civil Procedure. Provides that a reviewing health professional's report shall contain the name and address of the reviewing health profession and documentation of his or her compliance with the witness standards. Changes the standards that the court shall apply to determine if a witness qualifies as an expert witness as follows: (i) requires the court to determine whether the witness is board certified or board eligible in the same medical specialties as the defendant and is familiar with the same medical problems or the type of treatment administered in the case (instead of the same relationship of the medical specialties of the witness to the medical problem and the type of treatment in the case); (ii) requires the court to determine whether the witness has devoted 75% (instead of a substantial portion) of his or her working hours to the practice of medicine, teaching, or university based research in relation to the medical care and type of treatment at issue; and (iii) requires the court to determine whether the witness is licensed by any state or the District of Columbia (instead of just licensed). Places limits on the amount of non-economic damages that may be awarded against a hospital and its personnel or against a physician and the physician's business or corporation in medical malpractice actions. Protects a physician's personal assets in healing art malpractice cases. Provides that non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases shall not exceed $750,000 against a hospital and its personnel and $500,000 against a physician and the physician's business or corporate entity awarded to all plaintiffs in any civil actions arising out of care. Makes various other changes in other Acts concerning health care. Effective immediately.