Senate passes Medical Review Panel legislation
The Senate took an important step Wednesday to address a growing problem faced by Kentucky’s medical providers by reporting SB 119 from the Health and Welfare Committee. The escalating costs directly attributed to Kentucky’s uncontrolled medical liability climate are a serious concern for Kentucky employers and taxpayers who foot bill in terms of direct employee benefit costs and higher taxes.
SB 199, sponsored by Senator Julie Denton (Louisville), creates a fair, impartial process of medical review panels to deter meritless lawsuits against medical providers, while expediting the process for legitimate claims of malpractice. While these review panels are no where near the protections provided by most of our surrounding states who have enacted caps on non-economic damages, these review panels have proven to deter frivolous claims in other states. Kentucky, unlike every border state, has no protections in place to deter aggressive personal injury attorneys from wreaking havoc on Kentucky’s health care system.
Doctors and patients will benefit from a fair and impartial review. While physicians and other medical providers would benefit from limiting the line of out-of-state personal injury attorneys from exploiting our lack of liability protections, individuals who have experienced unfortunate situations where a medical provider has made a mistake would benefit by expediting the process. In other states with review panels, victims of malpractice often receive higher settlements in a shorter timeframe.
For more information about SB 119 and the coalition of business and medical groups from around the state supporting our effort, visit http://www.carefirstky.com.