Tuesday, January 24, 2006

House Passes Med Mal Bill

[LEGISLATION] The Washington House passed a medical malpractice bill yesterday. The Olympian - Medical malpractice bill passes first hurdle. The bill's measures include:

  • Doctors with three serious acts of unprofessional conduct in 10 years would lose their licenses.
  • Health care workers' apologies or admissions of fault would not be admissible as evidence in a later action.
  • Insurers, self-insurers, and claimants would be required to reports all settlements of closed claims to the Insurance Commissioner. (Florida has had this requirement for years. Neil Vidmar is working on a study using the data.)
  • Absent approval by a judge, litigants would be limited to two expert witnesses per side.
  • No med mal suit could be filed without a "certificate of merit" from a qualified expert.<
  • Attorneys fees could be awarded in some cases where the prevailing party had offered a settlement that was rejected.
  • A voluntary arbitration system would be available for claims up to $1 million.
Click here for more about HB 2292, including text of the various versions (the one that passed was the second substitute bill), bill reports, and its day-by-day status in the legislature.

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