On June 28, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives passed the Protecting Access to Care Act (H.R. 1215). This comprehensive medical liability reform bill includes traditional reforms such as unlimited compensation for economic losses, a flexible cap on non-economic damages, limits on attorney’s contingency fees, periodic payment of future damages, and a modified statute of limitations. It also includes supplemental reforms such as an apology protection, expert witness standards, a certificate of merit requirement, and a required 90-day cooling-off period.
MagMutual supported its trade association, PIAA, in its ongoing efforts to lobby for the passage of this legislation, which models proven reforms in California and Texas. According to PIAA, unlike previous federal bills, this bill focuses solely on healthcare professionals and entities, includes more flexibility for states than previous federal medical liability reform bills, and applies only to medical liability claims involving care provided through the expenditure of federal dollars (including federal tax benefits).
While this bill passed by a narrow margin in the U.S. House of Representatives, MagMutual remains hopeful that advocacy efforts by the medical professional liability and medical communities, and continued leadership by PIAA at the federal level, will continue to pay off. The PIAA’s Vice President of Government Relations & Public Policy, Mike Stinson, is quoted as saying “Medical liability reform faces significant challenges in the U.S. Senate, but PIAA is already employing a new advocacy strategy to promote this legislation.”
For additional questions, please contact MagMutual’s Manager of Government & Legislative Affairs, Nichole Lydon at 404-842-5574.