Legislation to bring peer review practices to the medical profession in Kentucky will have more momentum for passage in the 2018 session, according to the House Health and Welfare Committee Chair.
Peer Review legislation, which is law in 49 other states across the country, passed the Senate and the House Health and Welfare Committee during the 2017 legislative session, but never received a hearing on the House floor.
Addressing business leaders at the Kentucky Chamber Tuesday, House Health and Welfare Committee Chair Addia Wuchner highlighted the need for the legislation and said she believes the bill will start in the House early in the session.
Wuchner stated many members in the House were new during the 2017 session and had not been part of a large dialogue on the issue ahead of a vote, which is why she feels it is important that they are meeting on the issue over the interim to ensure members understand the issue she feels is critical.
Peer review legislation would increase protection for medical providers to effectively review their own performance in a frank and open manner without the thought of a lawsuit.
Rep. Wuchner highlighted the fact that the bill does not take away any rights of patients and simply allows professionals in the medical profession the same type of review system that all other professions currently have.
Kentucky has one of the most litigious environments, making the Commonwealth a target for personal injury attorneys, which is of significant interest to business.
Peer review legislation was originally put in Kentucky’s statute in 1976, but was overturned by the Kentucky Supreme Court. In recent years, peer review legislation would clarify Kentucky’s existing statute and impose the correct interpretation by Kentucky courts and pertinent federal law.