Medical Review Panels bill clears first legislative hurdle

Stethoscope on US Dollar bills. Symbol of the cost of healthcare. Blue toned

The Kentucky state Senate voted Wednesday in favor of moving forward with legislation seeking to address the heightened costs directly attributed to Kentucky’s uncontrolled medical liability ambience, an issue of serious concern for Kentucky employers and taxpayers who foot bill in terms of direct employee benefit costs and higher taxes.

The Senate Health and Welfare Committee voted Wednesday to pass Senate Bill 4, a bill establishing Medical Review Panels.

mrp-00_03_54_23-still002The legislation, sponsored by Senator and Doctor Ralph Alvarado of Winchester, focuses on medical malpractice liability which takes a significant financial toll on Kentucky’s health care providers, including nurses, doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes that serve our communities. The growing number of meritless lawsuits against providers increases costs for consumers and reroutes critical funds away from care.

mrp-00_01_10_05-still001Kentucky Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Dave Adkisson testified in front of lawmakers Wednesday to express the need to return the focus and resources of health care where they belong — on caring for patients.

“It’s time to return the focus and resources of health care where they belong, on caring for patients, not fighting lawsuits,” Adkisson said.

Adkisson also noted that every state surrounding Kentucky has protection for medical providers and is truly a competitiveness issue in terms of recruiting physicians.

With the bill clearing committee this early in session and support in the new Republican House, it is likely to see quick movement through the legislative process.

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