May 15, 2005 Legislation




Illinois is still controlled by the Chicago Democrats. The State Senate Judiciary Committee is still protecting its tort lawyer bribers.  Instead of creating true tort law reform, they are doing the bit of more regulation to get rid of physicians who have been sued.  While this is a problem that needs to be resolved, it is down the list.  

The Illinois House has backed a proposal to limit med mal non economic damages and to protect physician's personal assets from some legal claims.  Unbelievable as it might be, a Democrat had sponsored the bill in the House committee.

The Alaska House has passed a lowering of the cap on non economic damages in med mal cases.  Alaska realizes it is vying with other states for physicians and needs to make its med mal climate as least as those other states.  The Senate passed a similar bill last month and it now goes to the Senate for their concurrence and then if needed to a committee to reconcile the differences.  

In my last report, I talked about the Maryland refusal to act on their promise to the state's physicians.  Since then the Maryland attorney general has cleared the state's ability to give refunds to the physicians as early as July 1. 

Georgia has passed and the Governor has signed a bill to limit liability to the state's physicians when they provide free care to the poor as defined as less than 200% of the federal poverty level and who have no insurance.  

Louisiana has defeated a bill that would have expanded the new med mal law to accidents in hospitals and nursing home facilities.       Top 


The bastion of fairness, JCAHO, has again caved to the people who pay them.  They put in a rule, MS 1.20 that forced hospitals to put those rules that affected hospital privileges and corrective actions into the medical staff bylaws so they could not be changed without medical staff input.  The paying hospitals protested that the change would be burdensome.  The JCAHO then changed the rule to not start until 2007 and may be changed prior.  Is it any wonder that many people are waiting for the promised retirement of O'Leary and his troupe that does the bidding of the hospitals at the expense of what is right?  See the recent editorial in Modern Healthcare.        Top


DISCLAIMER: Although this article is updated periodically, it reflects the author's point of view at the time of publication. Nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. Readers should consult with their own legal counsel before acting on any of the information presented.