Back 

Medical Liability Medical Malpractice 2013 Legislation

Medical Liability | Medical Malpractice 2013 Legislation

Heather Morton 1/13/2014

Under state law, a patient may pursue a civil claim against physicians or other health care providers, called medical liability or medical malpractice, if the health care provider causes injury or death to the patient through a negligent act or omission. To recover damages, the patient must establish:

  1. The physician owed a duty to the patient.

  2. The standard of care and that the physician violated that standard.

  3. A compensable injury.

  4. The violation of the standard of care caused the harm suffered by the patient.

Forty-four states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico had pending legislation in the 2013 legislative session. The legislation in this list may include bills that relate to the following medical liability/malpractice issues:

  • Damage award limits or caps
  • Statute of limitation
  • Joint and several liability
  • Limits on attorney fees
  • Patient compensation or injury fund
  • Pre-trial alternative dispute resolution and screening panels
  • Affidavit or certificate of merit
  • Expert witness standards
  • Medical or peer review panels
  • Insurance premiums
  • Requirements to carry medical liability or malpractice insurance
  • Apologies by medical professionals

Please type in a state in the box below to be taken directly to the state's statutory information.

STATE BILL NUMBER BILL SUMMARY
Alabama S.B. 246 Permits the practice of midwifery. Requires a midwife to disclose the status of a licensed midwife's professional liability insurance coverage to a client.
Alabama S.B. 333 This bill allows a pregnant woman to choose the location and method of childbirth. This bill provides that a health care provider would be immune from liability for any complications arising from a female's choice of childbirth method.
Alaska none  
Arizona H.B. 2407

Passed House 2/27/13

Specifies that a health professional that provides optometric treatment, in addition to medical or dental treatment, within their scope of practice at a non-profit clinic is not liable in a medical malpractice action unless the health professional was found to be grossly negligent.
Arizona H.B. 2464 Provides that in any medical malpractice action, a named party's lost wages that are directly related to preparing for and attending depositions and trial are taxable costs in the superior court.
Arizona H.B. 2465 Provides that an attorney shall not file a medical malpractice action unless the supreme court certifies the attorney as a medical malpractice attorney. A judge shall not make a substantive ruling in a medical malpractice action unless the supreme court certifies the judge as a medical malpractice attorney. Requires the supreme court to establish a medical malpractice training and certification program for attorneys. The training shall include the courses of study that the supreme court deems necessary or desirable.
Arkansas

S.B. 1162

Signed by governor 4/12/13
Act 1196

Subsumes various causes of action for health care injuries against a medical care provider under a single remedy.
California A.B. 725 This bill requires the secretary of California Health and Human Services to submit an application on behalf of the state to the federal Department of Health and Human Services to receive a grant for state demonstration programs to evaluate alternatives to current medical tort litigation, as authorized by PPACA. The bill requires the secretary to write the application to design a program to create health courts based upon a no-fault process to improve the injury resolution of liability. The bill specifies what items a patient would need to prove under the health court demonstration program.
California

S.B. 62

Vetoed by governor 9/27/13

Existing law requires a coroner to make a report, as specified, when he or she receives information that indicates that a death may be the result of a physician and surgeon’s, podiatrist’s, or physician assistant’s gross negligence or incompetence. Existing law requires the report to be followed, within 90 days, by copies of the coroner’s report, autopsy protocol, and all other relevant information. This bill requires the coroner’s report and other information to follow the report within 90 days or as soon as possible once the coroner’s final report of investigation is complete.
California

S.B. 491

Passed Senate 5/28/13

Existing law, the Nursing Practice Act, provides for the licensure and regulation of nurse practitioners by the Board of Registered Nursing. Existing law authorizes the implementation of standardized procedures that authorize a nurse practitioner to perform certain acts, including, among others, ordering durable medical equipment, and, in consultation with a physician and surgeon, approving, signing, modifying, or adding to a plan of treatment or plan for an individual receiving home health services or personal care services. A violation of those provisions is a crime. This bill authorizes a nurse practitioner to perform those acts and certain additional acts without physician supervision if the nurse practitioner meets specified experience and certification requirements and is practicing in a clinic, health facility, county medical facility, accountable care organization, or group practice. The bill requires a nurse practitioner to refer a patient to a physician and surgeon or other licensed health care provider under certain circumstances. The bill also requires a nurse practitioner practicing under these provisions to maintain professional liability insurance, as specified. The bill also specifies that a nurse practitioner practicing under the provisions of the bill shall not supplant a physician and surgeon employed by specified health care facilities.
California

S.B. 670

Signed by governor 9/27/13
Chapter 399

This bill authorizes the Medical Board of California, in any investigation that involves the death of a patient, to inspect and copy the medical records of the deceased patient without the authorization of the beneficiary or personal representative of the deceased patient or a court order solely to determine the extent to which the death was the result of the physician and surgeon’s violation of the Medical Practice Act, if the board provides a written request to the physician and surgeon that includes a declaration that the board has been unsuccessful in locating or contacting the deceased patient’s beneficiary or personal representative after reasonable efforts.
California

S.B. 724

Signed by governor 7/11/13
Chapter 68

This bill limits the liability of a nonprofit charitable organization, or participating licensed optometrist, ophthalmologist, or volunteer working with a nonprofit charitable organization for any damage or injury resulting from the provision of vision screening and, if applicable, the provision of donated or recycled eyeglasses, if specified conditions are met. The bill makes the limitation of liability inapplicable if an action is brought by an officer of a state or local government pursuant to state or local law or if the conduct of the nonprofit charitable organization, optometrist, ophthalmologist, or volunteer includes specified types of misconduct.
Colorado

H.B. 1111

Signed by governor 6/5/13
Chapter 371

Tasks the director of the Division of Professions and Occupations in the Department of Regulatory Agencies with all functions necessary to regulate naturopathic doctors, including adopting rules, establishing application procedures, approving education and training, disciplining naturopathic doctors. The law also tasks the director with appointing an advisory committee, consisting of three naturopathic doctors, three doctors of medicine or osteopathy, one pharmacist, and two Colorado residents, to assist and provide advice to the director in regulating the practice of naturopathic medicine by naturopathic doctors. Requires naturopathic doctors to obtain professional liability insurance and be responsible for their acts and omissions in the practice of naturopathic medicine.
Colorado

S.B. 26

Signed by governor 5/25/13

Chapter 290

Currently, the "Michael Skolnik Medical Transparency Act of 2010" requires most regulated health care providers who are applying for, renewing, reinstating, or reactivating a license, certification, or registration to disclose specified information about their practice history to the director of the Division of Professions and Occupations for inclusion in a publicly available database. The act adds the following health care providers to the list of providers required to report information to the director, with the requirement taking effect July 1, 2014: Athletic trainers; massage therapists; certified nurse aides; occupational therapists; respiratory therapists; pharmacists; psychiatric technicians; and surgical assistants and surgical technologists. The act appropriates $146,353 and 2.0 FTE to the Department of Regulatory Agencies for the 2013-14 fiscal year to implement the act.
Colorado

S.B. 215

Signed by governor 6/5/13

Chapter 399

Provides that any person providing complementary and alternative health care services in this state who is not licensed, certified, or registered by the state as a health care professional, is not regulated by a professional board or the Division of Professions and Occupations in the Department of Regulatory Agencies pursuant to title 12, C.R.S., and is advertising or charging a fee for health care services shall provide to each client during the initial client contact the following information in a plainly worded written statement indicating whether or not the complementary and alternative health care practitioner is covered by liability insurance applicable to any injury caused by an act or omission of the complementary and alternative health care practitioner in providing complementary and alternative health care services pursuant to this section.
Connecticut

H.B. 5229

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends §52-572h to limit recovery of noneconomic damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death, whether in tort or in contract, when it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the professional negligence of a health care provider or health care institution, or both, in the medical diagnosis, care or treatment of the claimant, to not more than (1) $250,000 for each health care provider per event, (2) $250,000 for each health care institution per event, and (3) $750,000 overall for each event.
Connecticut

H.B. 5270

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends §§52-190a and 52-190c to establish a process by which peer review panels consisting of physicians, medical professionals and individuals outside the medical profession review claims of alleged negligence by a health care provider to determine whether there is probable cause that such claims have been made in good faith prior to the action being referred to mandatory mediation as provided in §52-190c.
Connecticut

H.B. 5318

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends §52-572h to limit recovery of noneconomic damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death, whether in tort or in contract, when it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the professional negligence of a health care provider or health care institution, or both, in the medical diagnosis, care or treatment of the claimant, to not more than (1) $250,000 for each health care provider per event, (2) $250,000 for each health care institution per event, and (3) $750,000 overall for each event.
Connecticut

H.B. 5521

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends §52-572h to limit recovery of noneconomic damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death, whether in tort or in contract, when it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the professional negligence of a health care provider or health care institution, or both, in the medical diagnosis, care or treatment of the claimant, to not more than (1) $300,000 for each health care provider per event, (2) $300,000 for each health care institution per event, and (3) $800,000 overall for each event.
Connecticut

H.B. 5675

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends §52-184c to require any physician who is not licensed in the state to apply for and obtain an expert witness certificate from the Department of Public Health prior to rendering expert opinion testimony in a medical malpractice action tried in the state.
Connecticut

H.B. 5982

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends title 20 to require health care providers who are not licensed as physicians in the state and who intend to testify as expert witnesses in medical malpractice actions pursuant to §52-184c to obtain a certificate from the Department of Public Health.
Connecticut

H.B. 5987

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends title 20 to require the Department of Public Health to issue a certificate, for a fee of $150, to health care providers who provide expert testimony in medical malpractice actions pursuant to §52-184c.
Connecticut

H.B. 6393

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/5/13

Provides that in any civil action to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death occurring on or after Oct. 1, 2013, in which it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the negligence of a health care provider, as defined in §52-184b, in the course of providing treatment to a patient in a hospital emergency department, the claimant shall have the burden of proving by clear and convincing evidence that the alleged actions of the health care provider represented a breach of the prevailing professional standard of care for that health care provider.
Connecticut H.B. 6687 This bill expands the types of health care providers who may provide a prelitigation opinion letter (sometimes called certificate of merit) concerning evidence of negligent medical care in malpractice cases. The bill also requires that instead of including a detailed basis for the formation of the opinion, the opinion letter include a detailed statement identifying one or more breaches of the prevailing professional standard of care (the issue in the malpractice case).
Connecticut

S.B. 97

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends §52-584 to provide that a medical malpractice action may be brought not more than 10 years from the date of the act or omission which serves as the basis for the action.
Connecticut

S.B. 446

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 3/21/13

Amends the general statutes to reduce the number of health insurance mandates and reform medical malpractice liability.
Connecticut

S.B. 449

Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends chapter 900 to require that all medical malpractice claims be submitted to arbitration panels consisting of a judge, doctor and an attorney with a medical background and that the submission of such claims to arbitration shall be in lieu of the mandatory mediation prescribed in §52-190c.
Connecticut

S.B. 450

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends §52-190a to revise the requirements associated with the filing of certificates of merit in medical malpractice cases.
Connecticut

S.B. 451

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends §52-190c to implement the use of binding arbitration in medical malpractice actions.
Connecticut

S.B. 452

Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/19/13

Amends §52-572h to limit recovery of noneconomic damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death, whether in tort or in contract, when it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the professional negligence of a health care provider or health care institution, or both, in the medical diagnosis, care or treatment of the claimant, to not more than $250,000 in the aggregate.
Connecticut

S.B. 1060

Signed by governor 7/11/13
Public Act 13-249

This act requires anyone who individually or jointly establishes, conducts, operates, or maintains a nursing home, home health care agency, or homemaker-home health aide agency to maintain professional liability insurance or other indemnity against liability for professional malpractice. The insurance must cover malpractice claims for injury or death of at least $1 million for one person, per occurrence, with an aggregate (i.e., the total for all claims within the coverage period) of at least $3 million. The act explicitly exempts residential care homes from this requirement.
Connecticut S.B. 1154 By law, before filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, an attorney or claimant must obtain a written, signed opinion, referred to as a certificate of merit, from a similar health care provider that there appears to be evidence of medical negligence. This bill allows someone whose malpractice case was dismissed for failure to meet this requirement to file a subsequent case once under the accidental failure-of-suit statute, even if the dismissal was for a reason not currently covered by that statute. The accidental failure-of-suit statute allows plaintiffs to file a lawsuit within one year after a timely filed action was dismissed for certain reasons, including dismissals for “any matter of form,” even though the statute of limitations has since expired. The bill specifies that it allows only one such automatic use of the accidental failure-of-suit statute. Presumably, the bill would allow a subsequent case to be brought if a case brought under the bill is dismissed and the subsequent case would otherwise be authorized by the statute. The bill also makes technical changes.
Delaware none  
District of Columbia

B20-131

Amends, on an emergency basis, the Medical Liability Captive Insurance Agency Establishment Act of 2008 to change the name of the Medical Liability Captive Insurance Agency to the Captive Insurance Agency, provides property insurance for risks to District real property assets for various hazards, authorizes the Captive to enter into contracts with other insurance companies.
District of Columbia

B20-132

Amends, on a temporary basis, the Medical Liability Captive Insurance Agency Establishment Act of 2008 to change the name of the Medical Liability Captive Insurance Agency to the Captive Insurance Agency, provides property insurance for risks to District real property assets for various hazards, authorizes the Captive to enter into contracts with other insurance companies.
District of Columbia

B20-154

Signed by mayor 3/20/13
Expires 6/18/13, Act A20-0039
Amends, on an emergency basis, the District of Columbia Medical Liability Captive Insurance Agency Establishment Act of 2008 to change the name of the District of Columbia Medical Liability Captive Insurance Agency to the District of Columbia Medical Liability and Earthquake Captive Insurance Agency, provides property insurance for risks to District government real property assets for earthquake and earthquake related hazards, authorizes the agency to enter into contracts with other insurance companies and re-insurers, and requires the agency’s plan of operation to be modified to include procedures for offering property insurance.
District of Columbia

B20-155

Passed Congressional review period 6/22/13
Law L20-0009
Amends, on a temporary basis, the District of Columbia Medical Liability Captive Insurance Agency Establishment Act of 2008 to change the name of the District of Columbia Medical Liability Captive Insurance Agency to the District of Columbia Medical Liability and Earthquake Captive Insurance Agency, provides property insurance for risks to certain District government real property assets and District personal property located within those real property assets for earthquake and earthquake-related hazards and risks, authorizes the agency to enter into contracts with other insurance companies and re-insurers, and requires the agency’s plan of operation to be modified to include procedures for offering property insurance.
District of Columbia

PR20-111

Adopted 3/5/13
Resolution R20-0065
Declares the existence of an emergency with respect to the need to amend the District of Columbia Medical Liability Captive Insurance Agency Establishment Act of 2008 to change the name of the District of Columbia Medical Liability Captive Insurance Agency to the District of Columbia Medical Liability and Earthquake Captive Insurance Agency, provides property insurance for risks to District government real property assets for earthquake and earthquake related hazards, authorizes the agency to enter into contracts with other insurance companies and re-insurers, and requires the agency’s plan of operation to be modified to include procedures for offering property insurance.
Florida

H.B. 335

Substituted by S.B. 468 4/29/13
Exempts medical malpractice insurance that covers certain providers and practitioners from specified rate filing requirements; revises provisions relating to notification of rate changes to codify certain amendments made in 2011 and makes editorial changes; provides for informational filing of certain forms that are exempt from Office of Insurance Regulations's approval process; requires informational filing to include notarized certification from insurer and provides statement that must be included in certification; authorizes office to require prior review and approval of form that is not in compliance; requires Notice of Change In Policy Terms form to be filed with changed renewal policy; provides for construction and applicability.
Florida

H.B. 429

Died in committee 5/3/13
Requires the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Association administer the Florida Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Plan in a manner that promotes and protects health and the best interests of children with such injuries; revises board membership; revises the process for recommending new directors; authorizes removal of directors; revises powers of directors and provides that board meetings are subject to public meetings law.
Florida

H.B. 587

Died in committee 5/3/13
Limits recovery of damages for medical or health care services to amounts actually paid if no balance to provider is outstanding; limits recovery of such damages to amounts customarily accepted by providers in same geographic area, with certain exclusions, if balance to provider is outstanding; requires medical or health care services to be medically necessary in order to be recoverable; provides that lack of medical necessity is affirmative defense in action for nonpayment; specifies that certain evidence shall be considered in determining amounts customarily accepted; provides for reduction of awards under specified provisions.
Florida

H.B. 635

Died in messages 5/3/13
Revises date of future repeal of exemption of medical malpractice insurance premiums from emergency assessments imposed to fund certain obligations, costs, and expenses of Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Finance Corporation.
Florida

H.B. 897

Died in committee 5/3/13
Provides exclusive remedy for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of medical injury; creates the Patient Compensation System; provides for various offices and committees; provides for independent medical review panels; prohibits certain conflicts of interest; provides a process for filing an application; provides for disposition of the application; provides for determination of compensation when there is sufficient proof of medical injury; provides that compensation shall be offset by any past and future collateral source payments; provides for determinations of malpractice for purposes of specified constitutional provision; provides for review of appeals by administrative law judge; requires annual contributions from specified providers; provides for provider opt out option; requires annual report and provides applicability.
Florida

H.B. 827

Died on calendar 5/3/13
Revises provisions relating to disclosure of information provided to health care practitioners by patients; provides that in informal discovery, prospective defendant or his or her legal representative may interview claimant's treating health care providers without notice to or presence of claimant or claimant's legal representative; revises form for release of health care information to expressly permit certain persons to interview specified health care providers without notice to or presence of patient or patient's legal representative.
Florida

H.B. 869

Died in committee 5/3/13
Specifies conditions under which nursing home resident has cause of action against licensee or management company; requires evidence of basis for punitive damages; requires trial judge to conduct an evidentiary hearing before claimant can assert claim for punitive damages; permits licensee or management company to be held liable for punitive damages; provides criteria for awarding of punitive damages in case of vicarious liability of certain entities.
Florida

H.B. 897

Died in committee 5/3/13
Provides exclusive remedy for personal injury or wrongful death arising out of medical injury; creates Patient Compensation System; provides for various offices and committees; provides for independent medical review panels; prohibits certain conflicts of interest; provides process for filing application; provides for disposition of application; provides for determination of compensation when there is sufficient proof of medical injury; provides that compensation shall be offset by any past and future collateral source payments; provides for determinations of malpractice for purposes of specified constitutional provision; provides for review of appeals by administrative law judge; requires annual contributions from specified providers; provides for provider opt out option; requires annual report; provides applicability.
Florida

H.B. 899

Died in committee 5/3/13
Creates the Patient Compensation System Trust Fund within the state treasury; provides for purpose and sources of funds of trust fund and provides for future review and termination or re-creation of trust fund.
Florida

H.B. 1107

Died on calendar 5/3/13
Revises definition of term "corporation" for purposes relating to Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund; deletes outdated coverage level; revises coverage levels available under reimbursement contract; revises aggregate coverage limits; provides for phase-in of changes to coverage levels and limits; revises exemption of medical malpractice insurance premiums from emergency assessments if certain revenues are determined to be insufficient to fund obligations, costs, and expenses of Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund and Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Finance Corporation; changes name of Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund Finance Corporation; deletes provisions relating to temporary emergency options for additional coverage.
Florida

H.B. 1205

Died in committee 5/3/13
Requires contract with a governmental contractor for health care services to include a provision for a health care provider licensed under ch. 466, F.S., (dentists and dental hygienists) as an agent of a governmental contractor, to allow a patient or parent or guardian of the patient to voluntarily contribute a fee to cover costs of dental laboratory work related to services provided to the patient without forfeiting sovereign immunity; prohibits the contribution from exceeding actual amount of dental laboratory charges; provides that the contribution complies with specified requirements.
Florida

H.B. 1387

Died in committee 5/3/13

S.B. 228

Died in committee 5/3/13

Relates to pre-suit discovery in medical negligence actions; revises the authorization form for release of protected health information which clarifies that the authorization only permits health care providers to furnish copies of written and electronic medical records; clarifies provisions in the authorization form which relate to the use of the patient’s health information.
Florida

H.B. 7015

Signed by governor 6/4/13

Chapter 107

Provides that witness qualified as expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in form of opinion as to facts at issue in case; requires courts to interpret and apply principles of expert testimony in conformity with specified U.S. Supreme Court decisions; subjects pure opinion testimony to such requirements; provides that facts or data that are otherwise inadmissible may not be disclosed to jury by proponent of opinion or inference unless court determines that probative value of facts or data in assisting jury to evaluate expert's opinion substantially outweighs prejudicial effect.
Florida

S.B. 468

Signed by governor 5/30/13

Chapter 66

Postpones the date that repeals the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund emergency assessment exemption for medical malpractice insurance premiums; exempts medical malpractice insurance that covers certain providers and practitioners from specified rate filing requirements; provides for an informational filing of certain forms that are exempt from the Office of Insurance Regulation’s approval process.
Florida

S.B. 886

Died in committee 5/3/13
Provides circumstance under which patient records may be released without prior written authorization in medical negligence actions; establishes standard of proof in actions based on the failure of a health care provider to order, perform, or administer certain tests; shifts burden of proof to claimant; provides for the release of protected heath information to certain treating health care providers, insurers, and attorneys; authorizes a health care provider or health care clinic and a patient or prospective patient to agree to submit a claim of medical negligence to arbitration.
Florida

S.B. 1016

Passed Senate 4/26/13
Prohibits a contract between a health insurer, a prepaid limited health service organization, or a health maintenance organization and a dentist from requiring the dentist to provide services at a fee set by the insurer or the organization under certain circumstances; requires a contract with a governmental contractor for health care services to include a provision for a health care provider licensed under ch. 466, F.S., as an agent of the governmental contractor, to allow a patient or a parent or guardian of the patient to voluntarily contribute a fee to cover costs of dental laboratory work related to the services provided to the patient without forfeiting sovereign immunity.
Florida

S.B. 1046

Laid on table 4/26/13

Postpones the date that repeals the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund emergency assessment exemption for medical malpractice insurance premiums; authorizes a uniform motor vehicle proof-of-insurance card to be in an electronic format; requires each insurance agency to be under the control of an agent licensed to transact certain lines of insurance; establishes a Citizens Sinkhole Stabilization Repair Program for sinkhole claims; increases the amount of prior notice required with respect to the nonrenewal, cancellation, or termination of certain insurance policies.
Florida

S.B. 1082

Died in committee 5/3/13
Creates the Patient Compensation System Trust Fund within the state treasury; provides for the purpose and source of the trust fund and provides for future review and termination or re-creation of the trust fund.
Florida

S.B. 1134

Died in committee 5/3/13
Creates the "Patient Injury Act;" requires the Department of Health or certain boards thereof to require the completion of a course relating to communication of medical errors; specifies that certain provisions are an exclusive remedy for personal injury or wrongful death; provides for a determination of compensation upon a prima facie claim of a medical injury having been made; requires notice to patients of provider participation in the Patient Compensation System.
Florida

S.B. 1308

Died in committee 5/3/13
Provides circumstance under which patient records may be released without prior written authorization; revises conditions under which confidential patient information acquired in the course of care or treatment may be disclosed by a health care practitioner; revises the form for the authorization for release of protected health information; authorizes certain individuals and entities to conduct ex parte interviews with the claimant’s health care providers.
Florida

S.B. 1310

Died in committee 5/3/13
Establishes standard of proof in actions based on the failure of a health care provider to order, perform, or administer certain tests; shifts burden of proof to claimant; revises qualifications to give expert testimony on the prevailing professional standard of care; deletes provision regarding limitations of section.
Florida

S.B. 1312

Died in committee 5/3/13
Authorizes a health care provider or health care clinic and a patient or prospective patient to agree to submit a claim of medical negligence to arbitration; requires that the arbitration agreement be governed by ch. 682, F.S.; authorizes the arbitration agreement to contain a provision that limits an award of damages.
Florida

S.B. 1314

Died in committee 5/3/13

Prescribes limitations on medical negligence actions against hospitals.

Florida

S.B. 1384

Died on calendar 5/3/13
Provides that a claim for punitive damages may not be brought unless there is a showing of admissible evidence proffered by the parties which provides a reasonable basis for recovery of punitive damages when certain criteria are applied; requires the trier of fact to find by clear and convincing evidence that a specific person or corporate defendant actively and knowingly participated in intentional misconduct or engaged in conduct that constituted gross negligence and contributed to the loss, damages, or injury suffered by the claimant before punitive damages may be awarded.
Florida

S.B. 1402

Died in committee 5/3/13
Limits recovery of damages for medical or health care services to amounts actually paid if no balance to the provider is outstanding; requires medical or health care services to be medically necessary in order to be recoverable; provides that a patient is not liable for payment of a procedure that is medically unnecessary and nonpayment may be asserted as an affirmative defense in any action to recover damages; provides for reduction of awards under specified provisions.
Florida

S.B. 1412

Laid on table 4/25/13
Provides that a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education may testify in the form of an opinion or otherwise as to the facts at issue in a case under certain circumstances; provides that the elements necessary to allow a witness to testify as an expert witness are satisfied if the principles and methods on which such knowledge is based are generally accepted by the relevant expert community; provides for applicability.
Florida

S.B. 1792

Signed by governor 6/5/13, Chapter 108

Authorizes a health care practitioner or provider who reasonably expects to be deposed, to be called as a witness, or to receive discovery requests to consult with an attorney on certain matters; authorizes the disclosure of patient information in connection with litigation under certain circumstances; authorizes a medical liability insurer to recommend an attorney to a health care practitioner or provider under certain circumstances; provides that a prospective defendant may conduct an interview with a claimant’s treating health care provider as a tool of informal discovery.
Georgia

H.B. 312

Signed by governor 5/6/13, Act 265
Amends Chapter 13 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to insurance holding company systems, so as to provide for comprehensive revision of the provisions regulating insurance holding company systems; amends Chapter 21 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to health maintenance organizations, so as to provide the extension of malpractice insurance to a medical group which has a mutually exclusive contract to provide medical services to the enrollees of a health maintenance organization under certain circumstances.
Georgia

H.B. 499

Signed by governor 5/6/13, Act 193
Provides that the implementation of any guideline by any public or private payor or the establishment of any payment standard or reimbursement criteria under any federal laws or regulations related to health care shall not be construed, without competent expert testimony establishing the appropriate standard of care, to establish a legal basis for negligence or the standard of care or duty of care owed by a health care provider to a patient in any civil action for medical malpractice or product liability.
Georgia

H.B. 662

Establishes the "Patient Injury Act"; amends Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to torts, so as to create an alternative to medical malpractice litigation whereby patients are compensated for medical injuries; provides for legislative intent; provides for a short title; establishes the Patient Compensation System and the Patient Compensation Board; provides for the filing of and disposition of applications; provides administrative and judicial review; provides for funding; provides for related matters.
Georgia S.B. 141 Establishes the "Patient Injury Act"; amends Title 51 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to torts, so as to create an alternative to medical malpractice litigation whereby patients are compensated for medical injuries; provides for a short title; provides for legislative findings and intent; provides for definitions; establishes the Patient Compensation System and the Patient Compensation Board; provides for committees; provides for the filing of and disposition of applications; provides for review by an administrative law judge; provides for appellate review; provides for payment of administration expenses; requires an annual report; provides for funding;  provides for related matters.
Guam none  
Hawaii

H.B. 650

S.B. 1308

Establishes a new rule of evidence that statements or conduct that expresses apology that are made by a health care provider concerning an unanticipated medical care outcome are inadmissible to prove liability for any claim growing out of the event.
Idaho none  
Illinois H.B. 60 Amends the Nursing Home Care Act. Provides that an owner or operator of a facility shall purchase and maintain not less than $500,000 in liability insurance for each facility. Provides that no person may establish, own, or operate a facility in the state unless and until the person provides proof of liability insurance coverage to the Department of Public Health. Provides that the Department shall issue a license if the applicant and the facilities meet specified requirements. Provides that each application for a license for a facility shall be accompanied by a license fee of $20 for each bed in the facility, with a minimum fee per facility of $200 (instead of an annual fee of $1,990). Provides that an application for a license to operate a facility also shall include affirmative evidence of the ability to comply with the liability insurance requirement.
Illinois H.B. 573 Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Makes a technical change in a section concerning arbitration of medical malpractice disputes.
Illinois H.B. 856 Amends the Code of Civil Procedure. Makes a technical change in the section defining medical malpractice action.
Illinois

H.B. 1327

Signed by governor 8/9/13
Public Act 98-0210
Amends the Patients' Right to Know Act; extends the disclosure period from five years to 10 years for certain information, including information concerning criminal convictions, malpractice judgments and disciplinary actions, that must be posted on a physician's public profile.
Illinois H.B. 1763 Amends the Code of Civil Procedure. Makes a technical change in the section defining medical malpractice action.
Illinois H.B. 2025 Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Makes a technical change in a section concerning arbitration of medical malpractice disputes.
Illinois S.B. 2160 Amends the Code of Civil Procedure and the Good Samaritan Act to reenact certain provisions of Public Act 94-677, which was declared to be unconstitutional by the Illinois Supreme Court in Lebron v. Gottlieb Memorial Hospital. Includes explanatory and validation provisions. Makes changes relating to the reenactment. Also makes these substantive changes: Amends the Code of Civil Procedure to lower the rate of interest payable on judgments and to delay the accrual of interest in certain cases where a federal Medicare lien may exist against the judgment.
Indiana

H.B. 1135

Signed by governor 5/10/13
Public Law 232
Requires the local health officer to make a permanent record of the person in attendance at a birth and the location of the birth. Includes complications resulting from a home delivery in the definition of "birth problems" for purposes of the birth problems registry. Requires the state department of health to adopt rules to establish reporting requirements regarding birth problems for home deliveries. Establishes the midwifery committee to provide information and recommendations to the medical licensing board (board) concerning the practice of midwifery by a certified direct entry midwife (CDEM). Provides requirements that an applicant must meet before the board may issue a certificate for a CDEM, including liability insurance. Provides for the issuance of certificates beginning Jan. 1, 2014, and sets qualifications. Requires the board to: (1) establish continuing education requirements; (2) develop peer review procedures; and (3) adopt certain rules concerning the competent practice of a CDEM. Requires a physician to examine a client of a CDEM at least one time during the client's first trimester and one time during the client's third trimester. Requires a CDEM to collaborate with a physician. Allows a CDEM to administer certain prescription drugs only under a physician's protocol or order. Establishes a Class D felony for practicing midwifery without a certificate. Adds culpability standards to the crimes of practicing medicine or osteopathic medicine and acting as a physician assistant without a license. Requires certain information to be reported to the health finance commission. Makes technical and conforming changes.
Iowa H.F. 32 This bill relates to hospitals under the volunteer health care provider program. The bill provides that a hospital providing free care under the program is considered a state agency solely for the purposes of the program and Code chapter 669 (State Tort Claims Act) and is to be afforded protection under Code chapter 669 as a state agency for all claims arising from the provision of free care by a health care provider registered under the program who is providing services at the hospital in accordance with the program, and also is afforded protection for the provision of free care by a health care provider who is covered by adequate medical malpractice insurance if the hospital has registered with the Department of Public Health as required under the program.
Iowa H.F. 579 Relates to medical malpractice actions including expert witness testimony, evidence-based medical practice guidelines, and medical malpractice review panels, and provides for fees.
Iowa H.F. 618 Relates to medical malpractice actions including expert witness testimony, evidence-based medical practice guidelines, and medical malpractice review panels, and provides for fees.
Iowa H.S.B. 36

Relates to certificate of merit affidavits and noneconomic damages in medical malpractice actions.

Iowa S.S.B. 1054

Relates to certificate of merit affidavits and noneconomic damages in medical malpractice actions.

Iowa S.S.B. 1236 This bill relates to medical malpractice actions. The bill provides that no more than two expert witnesses for each element of a medical malpractice cause of action involving physicians or dentists may be designated by the parties unless the parties agree to additional experts or the court orders additional experts for good cause shown. The bill provides that a district court shall try any action founded on injuries to the person or wrongful death against any physician and surgeon, osteopathic physician and surgeon, dentist, podiatric physician, optometrist, pharmacist, chiropractor, physician assistant, or nurse licensed under Code chapter 147 or a hospital licensed under Code chapter 135B, arising out of patient care, within two years from the date the action is commenced unless the parties agree to a later trial date or the court finds for good cause shown, not ex parte, that an extension is necessary and appropriate. The bill requires the judicial branch to establish and administer a health court pilot project, subject to available funding, in at least one judicial district. The health court pilot project shall provide for the appointment of one or more district judges with demonstrated experience or expertise in medical malpractice litigation who shall preside over all medical malpractice cases within the judicial district. Each judge appointed to the health court shall have a court reporter assigned to the judge who has experience or expertise in medical malpractice cases. The judicial branch and the pilot project judicial districts shall report to the General Assembly on the operation of the projects annually by Dec. 15. The bill requires the Department of Public Health to convene a task force of stakeholders, subject to available funding, to consider and offer recommendations to assess the extent to which medical professionals in Iowa perform unnecessary medical procedures. Stakeholders shall include experts in law, medicine, health, and health financing including but not limited to representatives from the Iowa State Bar Association, Iowa Association for Justice, Iowa Medical Society, Iowa Hospital Association, Department of Human Services, insurance commissioner, and Federation of Iowa Insurers. The task force shall submit a report containing recommendations to the General Assembly by Dec. 2, 2013.
Kansas H.B. 2376 Enacts the Kansas Apology and Disclosure of Unanticipated Medical Outcomes and Medical Errors Act; concerns required disclosure policies for unanticipated medical outcomes and medical errors by medical care providers and health care facilities; evidence in civil actions; expressions of apology, sympathy, compassion or benevolent acts by medical care providers or health care administrators not admissible as evidence of an admission of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest.
Kansas

S.B. 142

Signed by governor 4/10/13
Chapter 48
This bill creates a new section of law prohibiting civil actions for a claim of wrongful life or wrongful birth. The bill also prohibits recovery of damages in any civil action for any physical condition of a minor that existed at birth if such damages arise out of a claim that a person’s action or omission contributed to the minor’s mother not obtaining an abortion.
Kentucky

S.B. 9

Passed Senate 2/13/13
Relates to medical review panels involving long-term-care facilities; establishes KRS Chapter 216C; establishes a medical review panel system for use in civil litigation relating to long-term-care facilities, including sections setting out definitions, delineating covered health care facilities and providers, panel membership and formation, functions and deliberations of the panel and utilization of panel results in civil actions.
Louisiana

H.B. 216

Signed by governor 5/30/13
Act 80
Provides the authority of the Patient's Compensation Fund Board to invest private monies and segregated funds in certain circumstances; provides for the balance of the fund upon the dissolution of the fund.
Maine

L.D. 454

Signed by governor 5/3/13
Public Chapter 59
Corrects an inconsistency within the State Health Security Act in a section regarding cancellation or nonrenewal; amends the provisions regarding the reporting of claims information by professional liability insurers to the superintendent of Insurance to state that such information is entitled to certain confidentiality protection and that a copy of the report must be filled by the superintendent to with the applicable licensing board or authority.
Maine

L.D. 645

Signed by governor 5/30/13, Public Chapter 170
Relates to the Rural Medical Access Program assessment rate; authorizes the superintendent of Insurance to lower the assessment rate by rule in order to allow for the orderly and prudent drawdown of excess funds not needed by the program.
Maine

L.D. 1437

Became law without governor’s signature 6/26/13, Public Chapter 355
Amends the Maine Health Security Act and the laws governing the Board of Licensure in medicine; provides that physician assistants have the same duty as physicians to report acts of a physician amounting to medical malpractice, habitual drunkenness, addiction to the use of drugs, professional incompetence, unprofessional conduct or sexual misconduct; provides for reporting of disciplinary actions, special licenses, suspension of a license and misrepresentation in obtaining a license.
Maryland

H.B. 1114

Withdrawn from further consideration 3/22/13

S.B. 836

Requires periodic payments of specified damages in excess of $1 million for specified health care malpractice causes of action under specified circumstances; establishes procedures and requirements relating to periodic payments and annuities for funding periodic payments.
Maryland

H.B. 1265

S.B. 835

Authorizes hospitals, related institutions, and specified insurers to establish patient safety early intervention programs; prohibits the use of specified statements made during specified discussions held in accordance with specified patient safety early intervention programs as evidence of liability or as evidence of an admission against interest in specified actions and proceedings.

Maryland

H.B. 1310

Passed House 3/25/13

S.B. 834

Alters the definition of "health care provider" for purposes of health care malpractice claims.

Maryland

H.B. 1316

S.B. 771

Alters the legal rate of interest on a money judgment for a medical injury; and provides for the prospective application of the Act.
Massachusetts H.B. 1339

Relates to patient safety, medical error reporting and medical malpractice.

Massachusetts H.B. 1340

Regulates the testimony of expert witnesses in medical malpractice court cases.

Massachusetts H.B. 1485

Exempts health care providers from liability when rendering certain emergency care.

Massachusetts H.B. 1576

Provides that in the case of a hospital where the tort results in death the liability in any such cause of action shall not be less than $100,000.

Massachusetts H.B. 1678 Clarifies that payments made as part of a disclosure, apology and early offer program, shall not be construed to be reportable against a physician identified during the root cause analysis conducted as part of a disclosure, apology and early offer program, absent a determination of substandard or unreasonable care rendered on the part of said physician. For purposes of this section a disclosure, apology and early offer program shall be a program that seeks to expedite resolution of incidents of medical injury by disclose to patients and families when unanticipated adverse outcomes of care occur; investigate and explain what happened; implement systems to avoid recurrence of incidents and improve patient safety; and where appropriate, apologize and offer financial compensation without the patient having to file a lawsuit.
Massachusetts H.B. 3391 Provides that a medical malpractice insurer, as defined by §193U of chapter 175 of the General Laws, may decline to pay claims for negligence when a licensed provider, as defined by §2 of chapter 112, fails to consult the prescription monitoring program prior to prescribing a medication to a patient.
Massachusetts H.B. 3634

Establishes a birth related neurological injury trust fund in the Commonwealth.

Massachusetts S.B. 454 Relates to patient care access; provides that the offering of expert testimony in any action for malpractice, negligence, error, omission, mistake, or unauthorized rendering of professional services against a physician shall constitute the practice of medicine; relates to malpractice insurance; requires every insurer and risk management organization to make an annual report to the the Betsy Lehman Center for Patient Safety and Medical Error Reduction.
Massachusetts S.B. 455

Requires insurers to report malpractice claims or actions for optometrists.

Massachusetts S.B. 1010 Clarifies that payments made as part of a disclosure, apology and early offer program, shall not be construed to be reportable against a physician identified during the root cause analysis conducted as part of a disclosure, apology and early offer program, absent a determination of substandard or unreasonable care rendered on the part of said physician. For purposes of this section a disclosure, apology and early offer program shall be a program that seeks to expedite resolution of incidents of medical injury by disclosure to patients and families when unanticipated adverse outcomes of care occur; investigate and explain what happened; implement systems to avoid recurrence of incidents and improve patient safety; and where appropriate, apologize and offer financial compensation without the patient having to file a lawsuit.
Massachusetts S.B. 1097

Provides that notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary, if a registered physician is convicted of three cases of medical malpractice the board shall revoke said physician's registration.

Michigan

H.B. 4156

Signed by governor 11/18/13
Public Act 171
The bill amends the Public Health Code to expand the individuals allowed to obtain a special volunteer license for the care and treatment of indigent and needy individuals or individuals in medically underserved areas. Currently, an individual who is retired from the active practice of medicine, optometry, or dentistry, and who wishes to donate his or her expertise for the care and treatment of indigent and needy individuals or individuals in medically underserved areas of the state, may obtain a special volunteer license to practice. The bill extends this to anyone who was retired from the active practice of a health profession for which an individual must be licensed, registered, or otherwise authorized under Article 15 (Occupations) to practice in Michigan. A physician, optometrist, or dentist who provides care under a special volunteer license is not civilly liable for personal injury or death proximately caused by his or her professional negligence or malpractice, if 1) the care is provided at a health facility or agency that provides at least 75 percent of its care annually to medically indigent individuals; 2) the individual does not receive and does not intend to receive compensation for providing the care; and 3) the negligent conduct or malpractice was not gross negligence. The bill extends these provisions to any health professional who provided care under a special volunteer license.
Michigan H.B. 4354

Limits liability for emergency treatment rendered in a hospital.

Michigan S.B. 710 Revises the provisions of existing law that governs the minimum term of automobile or motor vehicle liability, the term requirements for policies of casualty insurance, including all classes of motor vehicle coverage, policy cancellation procedures, the refusal to renew a malpractice insurance policy, and the minimum retention of insurance premiums for automobile insurance.
Minnesota

H.F. 1529

S.F. 1316

Relates to health; regulates laser treatments and establishes various requirements in relation thereto, including training requirements and a requirement that facilities offering such treatments maintain liability insurance; provides the use of a laser or similar device for aesthetic treatments may only be performed by a nurse, an advanced medical practitioner, or a health practitioner; requires transparency in health care advertising.
Mississippi

H.B. 112

Died in committee 2/5/13

Requires nursing homes to purchase and maintain a certain minimum amount of liability insurance.

Mississippi

H.B. 221

Died in committee 2/5/13
Provides immunity from civil liability to physicians who participate in the Medicaid program for acts or omissions in the provision of medical or health services to Medicaid recipients, except in cases of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct; to extend the immunity provided under this act to the health care facility in which the physician provided the medical or health services to the Medicaid recipient.
Mississippi

H.B. 416

Died in committee 2/5/13
Amends §43-11-13 to provide that the state board of health shall require nursing facilities to carry at least $500,000.00 in liability insurance as a condition of licensure.
Mississippi

H.B. 1054

Died in committee 2/5/13
Amends §15-1-36 to revise the statute of limitations on medical malpractice actions; provides penalties against attorneys who allow the statute of limitations to expire.
Mississippi

H.B. 1351

Died in committee 2/5/13

Requires nursing homes to purchase and maintain a certain minimum amount of liability insurance.

Mississippi

S.B. 2013

Died in committee 2/5/13

Provides that certain statements by health care providers or employees regarding the unanticipated outcome of medical care are inadmissible in any civil action by a relative or representative of the patient; provides definitions.
Missouri H.B. 112 This bill changes the laws regarding claims arising out of the rendering or failure to render health care services by a health care provider. Currently, an action against a health care provider for rendering or failing to render health care services is a common law cause of action. The bill replaces the common law cause of action with a statutory cause of action for damages against a health care provider for personal injury or death arising out of the rendering of or failure to render health services. The elements of the statutory cause of action are that the health care provider failed to use that degree of skill and learning ordinarily used under the same or similar circumstances by similarly situated health care providers and that the failure proximately caused injury or death.
Missouri

H.B. 195

Withdrawn 1/28/13

Requires persons certified and providing homebirth services to provide proof of malpractice insurance coverage prior to the provision of services.
Missouri H.B. 308 This bill requires any certified person providing homebirth services to provide clients with proof of midwifery malpractice insurance coverage of at least $1 million prior to the provision of services. Any person who fails to provide the proof prior to the provision of services is guilty of a class C misdemeanor.
Missouri H.B. 766 Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, this bill requires every insurer providing health care providers with medical malpractice insurance to establish a premium rate based on the average of all judgments awarded in medical malpractice cases during the previous calendar year in the county in which the provider practices. If there were fewer than four medical malpractice cases in the county in the previous year, the average of all judgments awarded during the previous five years will be used to determine the rate. If there were fewer than four cases in the county in the previous five years, the average of all judgments awarded during the previous year in a county of similar population size, diversity of practice, and size and type of provider practice must be used to determine the rate. For providers practicing in more than one county, the rate must be adjusted based on the percentage of the provider’s practice conducted in each county.
Missouri H.B. 899 This bill changes the laws regarding malpractice insurance. In its main provisions, the bill: (1) Requires an assessable association to come into compliance with these provisions within 180 days of the effective date and to file its articles of association and bylaws or the director may suspend the association's certificate of authority or issue a cease and desist order prohibiting the association from writing new business; (2) Breaks malpractice association assessments into four types of assessments: initial assessments, regular assessments, operating assessments, and special assessments; (3) Specifies that a malpractice association's articles of association and bylaws must specify how the various assessments apply to current and former members; (4) Specifies that a special assessment made by an association after the fifth anniversary of the termination date of a former member's coverage under the association's policy must not apply to the former member; (5) Requires a copy of the articles of association and bylaws to be attached to a policy issued by an assessable association; (6) Requires malpractice associations to be subject to various auditing and financial reporting insurance laws; (7) Allows the Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration to limit the amount of premium an association can write or the amount of insurance or limit of liability an association can provide; (8) Requires assessable associations to maintain a policyholders' surplus of at least $600,000. An assessable association may renew its license with lower surplus requirements over a three-year period by maintaining a policyholders' surplus of $200,000 after 2013, $400,000 after 2014, and $600,000 after 2015. Currently, malpractice associations are not required to maintain positive surpluses; (9) Prohibits an association from causing the ratio of its net written premiums to its policyholders' surplus to exceed 3:1 without the approval of the department director. An assessable association licensed as of Jan. 1, 2013, may renew its license with a higher ratio over a three-year period by not causing the ratio of its net written premiums to its policyholders' surplus to exceed 4:1 after 2013, 3.5:1 after 2014, and 3:1 after 2015; and (10) Requires the department director to hold a hearing to determine if an insurer's medical malpractice rates are excessive, inadequate, or unfairly discriminatory before making a finding and to base the decision on competent and substantial evidence on the whole record rather than competent and compelling evidence.
Missouri H.B. 1030 Beginning Jan. 1, 2014, this bill authorizes a tax credit for 50 percent of the amount of a donation to a charity that has designated health care professionals who provide medical services to qualified patients who pay for medical services without using insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. The Department of Revenue will issue a tax credit certificate to a donor once the charity provides the necessary information to the department. The cumulative amount of tax credits that can be claimed by all donors cannot exceed $50 million annually. The tax credit can be carried forward for three years or sold. The bill allows a health care professional to contract with a patient regarding the limited liability of the health care professional when the patient pays for the medical services without using insurance, Medicare, or Medicaid. The recovery limits for punitive damages under §510.265, RSMo, noneconomic damages under §538.210, and all other statutory limits for the recovery of noneconomic damages for wrongful death, medical malpractice, and improper health care actions must not apply to the contract. The provisions of the bill relating to the tax credit will expire Dec. 31 six years from the effective date.
Missouri H.J.R. 6 Upon voter approval, this proposed constitutional amendment limits, as of Jan. 1, 2014, the liability for all damages and losses, other than economic damages, to $350,000 per occurrence. The limits apply to any claim or cause of action, including the liability of a medical or health care provider with regard to the treatment, lack of treatment, or standard of care or safety, and applies whether the claim or cause of action arises under or is derived from common law, a statute, or other law, including any claim or cause of action based or sounding in tort, contract, or any other theory or any combination of theories of liability. The General Assembly is authorized to modify by statute the limit of liability with the approval of at least three-fifths of the members of each house.
Missouri S.B. 64 Currently, in medical malpractice cases plaintiffs are required to prove noneconomic damages by a preponderance of the evidence. This act changes the evidentiary standard for noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases to clear and convincing.
Missouri S.B. 105 Currently, Missouri follows the common law of England as of 1607, unless the General Assembly abrogates from the common law statutorily. This act excludes from the English common law claims arising out of the rendering of or failure to render health care services by a health care provider. The act also creates a statutory cause of action for damages against health care providers for personal injury or death arising out of the rendering of or failure to render health care services.
Missouri

S.B. 129

Vetoed by governor 7/3/13

Veto overridden 9/11/13
This act establishes the Volunteer Health Services Act which allows a licensed health care provider to provide volunteer professional health care services for a sponsoring organization. Any person with a suspended or revoked license or who provides services outside the scope of his or her license is not eligible to provide services under the act. Before a health care professional can provide volunteer services, the sponsoring organization shall register with the Department of Health and Senior Services and pay a $50 fee. Such registration form and fee shall be submitted annually to the department for the administration of the provisions of this act. A sponsoring organization shall file a quarterly voluntary services report with the department, keep its records of health care provider volunteers up to date, and maintain the records for five years following the service rendered by the health care provider volunteer. Any health care provider volunteering his or her services shall not be liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from his or her service unless there was gross deviation from the ordinary standard of care or willful misconduct. "Gross deviation" is defined as the conscious disregard for the safety of others. A volunteer cannot receive any form of direct or indirect compensation, benefits, or consideration for his or her health care services. The volunteer shall perform acts within the scope of his or her professional license, in his or her professional practice area and in compliance with all applicable health care regulations. Any volunteer crisis response team member who participates in a crisis intervention shall not be liable in tort for any personal injuries or emotional distress of any participant to the intervention that is caused by the act or omission of the team member during an intervention with certain specified exceptions. Nothing in the Volunteer Health Services Act shall require a health care provider or organization providing health care services without charge to register with the department and receive the liability protections under the act.
Montana

H.B. 281

Vetoed by governor 4/19/13

Changes the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims from three years to two years.

Montana

H.B. 310

Became law without governor’s signature 4/26/13
Chapter 311

Prohibits claims and damages based on the birth of a child.

Montana

S.B. 115

Died in committee 4/24/13
Creates the Montana Medical Care Efficiency and Cost Reduction Through the Reduction of Defensive Medicine Act; provides for civil immunity to medical providers who apply clinical judgment to omit tests, procedures, treatment, or other therapeutic interventions unless medical malpractice is shown by clear and convincing evidence.
Montana

S.B. 184

Died in committee 4/24/13
Revises medical malpractice laws to require that economic consumption be deducted from an award of damages in a medical malpractice action.
Nebraska none  
Nevada

A.B. 170

Signed by governor 6/3/13
Chapter 383
Authorizes the state Board of Nursing to require an advanced practice registered nurse to maintain a policy of professional liability insurance in accordance with regulations adopted by the Board.
Nevada

A.B. 228

Signed by governor 6/6/13
Chapter 416
Authorizes a provider of health care who is licensed or certified in this state or in another state or territory of the United States to provide voluntary health care service in this state in association with a sponsoring organization; establishes certain restrictions on the provision of voluntary health care service by a provider of health care; requires a sponsoring organization to register and file certain reports with the Health Division of the Department of Health and Human Services; requires each such provider of health care to report certain information to the Health Division and to submit a complete set of fingerprints to the Health Division under certain circumstances; requires each such provider of health care to obtain or otherwise carry a policy of professional liability insurance which includes certain coverage relating to the provision of voluntary health care service.
Nevada

S.B. 198

Vetoed by governor 5/31/13
Requires a chiropractic physician who employs one or more chiropractor’s assistants who perform services under indirect supervision to maintain certain liability insurance.
Nevada S.B. 426 Relates to malpractice; revises provisions for the award of noneconomic damages in professional negligence actions; revises provisions relating to the time for commencing certain actions for professional negligence; repeals certain limitations on the amounts attorneys may contract for or collect in professional negligence actions.
New Hampshire

H.B. 489

Passed House 3/13/13

Establishes the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association Act.

New Hampshire H.B. 582 This bill repeals a system of early offers for medical injury claims as an alternative to litigation or screening panels under RSA 519-B.
New Hampshire

H.B. 583

Passed House 3/13/13

This bill modifies procedures for screening panels for medical injury claims.

New Jersey

A.B. 1831

S.B. 602

Concerns liability and insurance coverage for medical malpractice actions.

New Jersey A.B. 3665 Prohibits insurers from increasing premiums or making other adverse underwriting decisions with respect to medical malpractice liability insurance under certain circumstances; provides that a medical malpractice liability insurer shall not increase the premium of any medical malpractice liability insurance policy based on a claim of medical negligence or malpractice if the insured is dismissed from the action alleging malpractice within 180 days of the filing of the last responsive pleading.
New Jersey S.B. 2770 Provides certain homestead exemption in medical malpractice judgments; prohibits insurers from raising medical malpractice liability insurance premiums under certain circumstances.
New Mexico S.B. 469 Relates to medical malpractice; specifies venue for medical malpractice lawsuits filed on or after July 1, 2013.
New York A.B. 321 Requires a certificate of merit in actions for damages, contribution or indemnity arising out of alleged negligence of a professional licensed pursuant to the education law; establishes a party in an action for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice may not omit the name of certain experts in responding to a request; limits judgments for past and future damages in an action to recover damages for dental, medical or podiatric malpractice; limits compensation for noneconomic damages suffered by an injured plaintiff in any personal injury action to $250,000.
New York

A.B. 414

S.B. 1674

Provides for a premium reduction for physicians and licensed midwives who complete a risk management strategies course in obstetrics or midwifery.
New York A.B. 912 Provides that notwithstanding the provisions of the public health law, no other fee other than those authorized by §2303 (a) of the civil practice law and rules may be exacted or levied for the production of records relating to the condition or treatment of a patient; relates to access by an adverse party to medical records.
New York A.B. 973 Relates to the payment of medical malpractice insurance premiums and creates the health care access protection fund.
New York A.B. 1007 Provides an exemption to certain provisions relating to risk-based capital for property/casualty insurance companies; repeals certain provisions relating thereto; relates to financial regulation of medical malpractice insurance liability companies.
New York

A.B. 1056

S.B. 744

Alters the statute of limitations for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice to two years and six months from the time when a person knows or reasonably should have known of the alleged negligent act or omission and knows or reasonably should have known that such negligent act or omission has caused an injury.
New York A.B. 1881 Lengthens the period of time for the filing of medical malpractice cases based upon allegations of reckless use of a syringe, needle or other sharp.
New York A.B. 1886 Expands the duties of the commission of public health to include notify the patient or patients of a health care provider if such health care provider is determined to have exposed such patient or patients to a communicable disease through reckless conduct; includes exposing patients to a communicable disease due to reckless conduct in the definition of professional medical malpractice.
New York

A.B. 1926

S.B. 2627

Relates to the time to commence certain medical malpractice actions; provides that actions related to acts or omissions of hospitals where an incident report is required to be filed may be filed within one year of the required filing.
New York

A.B. 2138

S.B. 578

Requires general hospital which submits an incident report to the Department of Health to simultaneously provide a copy of such report to the affected patients and/ or their legal representatives; stays the statute of limitations for medical, dental and podiatric malpractice causes of action until one year after an incident report is submitted.

New York

A.B. 2365

S.B. 1046

Enacts the "Personal Healthcare Information Privacy Act"; prohibits ex parte interviews of other party's treating physicians or health care providers in personal injury, medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice, or wrongful death actions.
New York A.B. 2415 Creates the medical liability insurance association to replace the medical malpractice insurance pool, as the provider of medical malpractice insurance; provides availability to those unable to obtain medical malpractice insurance in the voluntary market.
New York A.B. 2675 Requires health care providers (i.e., an entity licensed/certified under certain articles of the public health law or the mental hygiene law, a health care practitioner licensed/registered/certified under title eight of the education law, or a provider of pharmaceutical products/services or durable medical equipment) to disclose errors in diagnosis, treatment or other services that the provider knows has caused substantial harm or significant risk of substantial harm; provides there shall be a rebuttable presumption that the provider knew of the error and the harm or risk of harm if, under the circumstances, the provider reasonably should have had knowledge thereof; provides such disclosure shall be made within a reasonable period of time and be reasonably understandable.
New York

A.B. 3006

Substituted 3/28/13

S.B. 2606

Signed by governor 3/28/13
Chapter 56
Amends laws to provide for the enactment of the state budget and consolidates the excess medical malpractice liability coverage pool.
New York

A.B. 3138

S.B. 2071

Prohibits the disclosure and discovery of the testimony of a party to a health care quality assurance or peer review proceeding; further adds the failure to cooperate and participate in the quality assurance, reporting, activities, requirements and procedures covered under such discovery to the definition of professional misconduct.
New York A.B. 3335 Enacts the "Medical Liability Reform Act"; requires attorney for plaintiff in a medical, dental or podiatric malpractice case to include with the certificate of merit, an affidavit of an appropriate medical professional licensed in this state stating that there is a reasonable basis for such malpractice action; failure to file will result in dismissal; modifies limited liability of persons jointly liable; limits noneconomic damages in such causes of action to $250,000; requires enhanced and comprehensive disclosure of expert witnesses to be used by any party in medical, dental and podiatric malpractice cases.
New York

A.B. 4071

S.B. 2533

Excludes a statement of apology or regret, made by a health care provider, as an admission of liability in a medical, dental or podiatric malpractice lawsuit.
New York A.B. 4341 Imposes a tax on health maintenance organizations and establishes the medical malpractice relief fund.
New York A.B. 4764 Requires licensed health care professionals and hospitals to make available to patients and prospective patients a printed copy of any medical malpractice convictions or information; provides civil and criminal penalties for failure to comply.
New York A.B. 4780 Relates to funds used for the physician loan repayment program and the regents physicians loan forgiveness program for physicians practicing in designated physician shortage areas and creates the medical malpractice rate relief program within the regents physician loan forgiveness program in designated physician shortage areas.
New York

A.B. 5632

S.B. 1918

Passed Senate 6/20/13

Provides for the certification of and qualifications for dentists practicing oral and maxillofacial surgery; includes such dentist within provisions of law regulating office-based surgery; provides for a study of whether an oral and maxillofacial surgery profiling program should be established; and provides that in an oral and maxillofacial surgery malpractice action a physician may be called as an expert witness at trial.
New York A.B. 7051 Requires physicians subject to proceedings for medical misconduct or actions for medical malpractice to include information regarding such proceedings and actions on advertisements.
New York A.B. 7052 Directs the Department of Health to update physician profiles for electronic access at least once every ninety days with respect to proceedings for medical misconduct and actions for medical malpractice.
New York A.B. 7053 Requires physicians subject to proceedings for medical misconduct or actions for medical malpractice to give notice to patients of such proceedings and actions.
New York

A.B. 7388

Signed by governor 6/30/13
Chapter 80

S.B. 5704

Substituted 6/20/13

Relates to excess medical malpractice insurance and extending the effectiveness thereof.
New York S.B. 554 Repeals that restriction of the judiciary law prohibiting contingent fees and requiring a sliding scale fee for attorneys in claims or actions for medical, dental or podiatric malpractice.
New York S.B. 600 Establishes a penalty of not less than $1,000 for each intentional destruction, mutilation or significant alteration of a medical record by a party to a medical malpractice action, or by any officer, director, member, employee or agent of such party; also establishes a cause of action on behalf of any person injured as the result of such destruction, mutilation or significant alteration.
New York S.B. 971 Relates to the conversion of domestic reciprocal medical malpractice insurers and the premium rates and surcharges for medical malpractice insurance.
New York S.B. 1117 Establishes the medical harm disclosure act requiring the reporting of medical harm events occurring at hospitals.
New York S.B. 2799 Creates an exemption from civil liability for causing the death or injury of any person, or damage to any property, for any person who renders emergency medical care during a state declaration of disaster emergency.
New York S.B. 2836 Creates the crime of reckless infection of a patient with a communicable disease by a health care provider; requires the notification of patients by the Department of health if a health care provider is determined to have exposed patients to a communicable disease through reckless conduct such as the reuse of a syringe, needle or other sharp; establishes as professional misconduct the reuse of a syringe, needle or other sharp; and relates to the time period for commencing certain medical malpractice actions.
New York S.B. 3098

Establishes the health care courts pilot program.

New York S.B. 3454 Lowers the primary medical malpractice coverage that a physician or dentist must have in force in order to be eligible for the NYS Excess Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance Coverage program.
North Carolina

S.B. 83

Signed by governor 5/13/13
Chapter 49
Encourages volunteer health care in free clinics by limiting the liability of medical and health care providers if the free clinic provides patients with notice of limited liability.
North Dakota none  
N. Mariana Islands not available  
Ohio H.B. 103 Amends §2305.113 and enacts §2323.451 of the Revised Code to specify the manner of sending a notice of intent to file a medical claim and to provide a procedure for the discovery of other potential defendants within a specified period after the filing of a medical claim.
Ohio H.B. 271 Amends §§2305.234 and 2305.2341 of the Revised Code to expand the immunity from liability for health care professionals, health care workers, and nonprofit health care referral organizations when providing specific care to an indigent and uninsured person.
Ohio H.B. 276 Amends §2317.43 and enacts §§2305.27 and 2323.40 of the Revised Code to provide that certain statements and communications made regarding an unanticipated outcome of medical care are inadmissible as evidence, requires a plaintiff in a medical claim to establish that the defendant's act or omission is a deviation from the required standard of medical care and the direct and proximate cause of the alleged injury, death, or loss, provides that any loss of a chance of recovery or survival by itself is not an injury, death, or loss for which damages may be recovered, and grants civil immunity to a health care facility for injury, death, or loss caused by a health care practitioner who is not an employee or agent of, and provides medical services at, the facility.
Oklahoma H.B. 1590 Relates to torts; requires physician who compensates patient to undergo unnecessary medical procedure to provide certain care if complications arise; sets time limit on providing care; defines term; provides for cause of action; prohibits limitation of damages; sets time limit on when suit can be filed; requires revocation of medical license if certain patient dies.
Oklahoma H.B. 2277

Relates to malpractice liability; creates the Oklahoma Malpractice Liability Act.

Oklahoma

H.B. 1005, Special Session

Signed by governor 9/10/13
Chapter 3
Enacts the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act; relates to emergency powers of the public health authority; authorizes the State Department of Health to regulate volunteer health practitioners in a declared emergency; requires consultation and compliance of specifies host entities; permits volunteer practitioners in good standing who are credentialed in another state to practice during an emergency; relates to commercial liability insurance.
Oklahoma

H.B. 1007, Special Session

Signed by governor 9/10/13
Chapter 5
Relates to public health and safety; relates to peer review information; modifies the definition of such information with regard to credentialing and recredentialing data; relates to civil actions where it is alleged that a patient has suffered injuries resulting from negligence by a health care professional in providing health care services to the patient in a health care facility.
Oklahoma

S.B. 1, Special Session

Signed by governor 9/10/13
Chapter 12
Relates to affidavits of merit and affidavits of consultation with a qualified expert; requires filing of affidavit with petition in negligence actions; provides for time extensions for filing certain affidavit; requires plaintiff to provide certain information; provides for dismissal under certain circumstances; provides for indigency in professional negligence cases; relates to affidavit attesting consultation with a qualified expert in medical liability actions.
Oklahoma

S.B. 684

Signed by governor 5/31/13
Chapter 405
Relates to professions and occupations; relates to oversight powers of state Board of Dentistry, acts constituting the practice of dentistry, dental assistants, licensing of dentists from other states, faculty permits, criminal background checks, trade names, employment of dental hygienists, malpractice insurance requirement exemption for retired dentists providing volunteer care and other matters.
Oregon H.B. 2217 Establishes procedure and requirements for filing notice of adverse health care incident with Oregon Patient Safety Commission. Requires health care facilities, health care providers and patients to engage in discussion and mediation related to adverse health care incidents. Requires a court to stay a civil action for negligence commenced before the requirements are completed. Makes provisions requiring discussion and mediation operative on July 1, 2014. Directs the commission to use information received from notices of adverse health care incident to prevent future adverse health care incidents and to report to Legislative Assembly. Prohibits insurers from taking certain actions based on notice of adverse health care incident.
Oregon H.B. 2519 Modifies provisions limiting liability of health clinics, volunteer health practitioners and volunteers providing outreach services to homeless individuals.
Oregon H.B. 2987

Modifies law relating to limitations on liability for health care provided without compensation.

Oregon H.B. 3021 Provides that party bringing certain medical liability claims may not amend pleading asserting claim later than 90 days before trial unless all parties consent to amendment.
Oregon H.B. 3022 Provides that physician-patient privilege and nurse-patient privilege do not apply to communications made in course of any medical treatment received by patient after injury for which patient brings certain civil actions based on negligent or unauthorized medical treatment.
Oregon

S.B. 483

Signed by governor 3/18/13
Chapter 5
Authorizes health care facility, health care provider and patient to file notice of adverse health care incident with Oregon Patient Safety Commission. Sets forth procedures by which health care facilities, health care providers and patients may engage in discussion and mediation related to adverse health care incidents. Directs commission to use information received from notices of adverse health care incidents to improve patient outcomes and reduce frequency of adverse health care incidents. Prohibits insurers from taking certain actions based on notice of adverse health care incident. Establishes Task Force on Resolution of Adverse Health Care Incidents. Directs task force to report to Legislative Assembly.
Oregon S.J.R. 30 Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to limit awards of noneconomic damages in medical liability actions to $1 million.
Pennsylvania H.B. 57 Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in rules of evidence, providing for benevolent gesture or admission by health care provider or assisted living residence or personal care home.
Pennsylvania H.B. 71 Amends the act of March 20, 2002 (P.L.154, No.13), known as the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act, providing for hospital care or assistance necessitated by traumatic injury immunity.
Pennsylvania H.B. 74 Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, adding and changing definitions; further provides for the unified judicial system; establishes the appellate division of Medical Professional Liability Court; further provides for transfers between intermediate appellate courts, for lien of judgments for money, for direct appeals to the Supreme Court from courts of common pleas, for allowance of appeals from Superior and Commonwealth Courts, for appeals to Superior Court from courts of common pleas, for original jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Court and for appeals to the Commonwealth Court from courts of common pleas; provides for the jurisdiction of the appellate division of Medical Professional Liability Court and for the organization and jurisdiction of the Medical Professional Liability Court; establishes the Medical Professional Liability Court Qualifications Commission and prescribes its powers and duties; further provides for selection of judicial officers, for vacancies in judicial offices and for retention election of judicial officers; provides for selection and retention of judges of the Medical Professional Liability Court and for salaries of judges of the Medical Professional Liability Court; establishes the Medical Professional Liability Court Fund and provides for receipts and payments; further provides for right to appellate review and for appeals generally; and makes editorial changes.
Pennsylvania

H.B. 86

Passed House 2/5/13
Amends the act of March 20, 2002 (P.L.154, No.13), known as the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (Mcare) Act, in regulation of medical professional liability insurance, repeals provisions relating to reports to commissioner and claims information.
Pennsylvania H.B. 203 Amends the act of March 20, 2002 (P.L.154, No.13), known as the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (Mcare) Act, provides for medical professional liability actions.
Pennsylvania H.B. 204 Proposes an amendment to the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, authorizing legislation to limit recovery of noneconomic and punitive damages in medical malpractice actions.
Pennsylvania H.B. 266 Amends the act of Feb. 14, 1986 (P.L.2, No.2), known as the Acupuncture Registration Act; further provides for medical diagnosis; provides for liability insurance.
Pennsylvania H.B. 512 Amends Titles 35 (Health and Safety) and 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, establishes a system for the use of volunteer health practitioners; provides reasonable safeguards to assure that health practitioners are appropriately licensed and regulated to protect the public's health; provides for applicability of workers' compensation and occupational disease law; and provides for limitation of civil damages.
Pennsylvania H.B. 612 Relates to the right to practice naturopathic medicine; provides for the issuance of licenses and the suspension and revocation of licenses; provides for penalties; and makes repeals.
Pennsylvania H.B. 804 Amends the act of March 20, 2002 (P.L.154, No.13), known as the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (Mcare) Act, providing for emergency care.
Pennsylvania H.B. 1301 Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, providing for certificates of merit in professional liability actions.
Pennsylvania H.B. 1760 Provides for a volunteer health care practitioner certification; imposes powers and duties on the Department of Health; provides for immunity.
Pennsylvania H.R. 283 Urges the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to study the impact on certain entities caused by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure that allow broad latitude to plaintiffs in the bringing of certain tort cases and to examine the efficacy and justice of expanding the Supreme Court's 2002 rule on venue for cases of alleged medical professional liability to all civil proceedings.
Pennsylvania

S.B. 81

Passed Senate 10/23/13
Amends the Volunteer Health Services Act, providing for volunteer mental health services for military families; limits liability of volunteer licensees; provides mental health services to military families; increases the availability of mental health services by establishing a procedure through which physicians and other health care practitioners who are retired from active practice may provide mental health services within their scope of practice as a volunteer inside or outside a clinic setting.
Pennsylvania

S.B. 194

Signed by governor 6/24/13
Act 22
Amends the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (Mcare) Act, in regulation of medical professional liability insurance; repeals provisions relating to reports to the commissioner and claims information; provides for medical professional liability claims, informed consent and claims; establishes the Joint Underwriting Association; regulates medical professional liability insurance; provides for medical licensure regulation.
Pennsylvania S.B. 349 Amends the act of March 20, 2002 (P.L.154, No.13), known as the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (Mcare) Act; further provides for medical professional liability insurance, for the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund; establishes the Health Care Provider Rate Stabilization Fund.
Pennsylvania

S.B. 379

Signed by governor 10/25/13
Act 79
Provides for benevolent gestures relating to medical professional liability insurance; provides that certain benevolent gestures by a health care provider or an assisted living residence or officer, employee or agent of such residence shall be inadmissible as evidence of liability.
Pennsylvania S.B. 561 Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, adds and changes definitions; further provides for the unified judicial system; establishes the appellate division of the Medical Professional Liability Court; further provides for transfers between intermediate appellate courts, for lien of judgments for money, for direct appeals to the Supreme Court from courts of common pleas, for allowance of appeals from Superior Court and Commonwealth Court, for appeals to Superior Court from courts of common pleas, for original jurisdiction of the Commonwealth Court and for appeals to the Commonwealth Court from courts of common pleas; provides for the jurisdiction of the appellate division of the Medical Professional Liability Court and for the organization and jurisdiction of the Medical Professional Liability Court; establishes the Medical Professional Liability Qualifications Commission and prescribes its powers and duties; further provides for selection of judicial officers, for vacancies in judicial offices and for retention election of judicial officers; provides for selection and retention of judges of the Medical Professional Liability Court and for salaries of judges of the Medical Professional Liability Court; establishes the Medical Professional Liability Court Fund and provides for receipts and payments; and further provides for right to appellate review and for appeals generally; and makes editorial changes.
Pennsylvania S.B. 568 Amends the act of March 20, 2002 (P.L.154, No.13), known as the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (Mcare) Act, establishing the Mcare Commission.
Pennsylvania S.B. 878 Amends the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Act; further provides for medical professional liability insurance, for Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund and for actuarial data; provides for assessments on participating health care providers; makes changes to provisions requiring insurers to file certain loss data and the presentation of a certain study.
Puerto Rico H.B. 154 Amends Law 77 of June 19, 1957, to establish preferred mechanisms for the resolution of claims for damages by fault or negligence on the hospital medical malpractice and alternative methods of dispute resolution; establishes terms for the expeditious processing of such claims in court, if court option is exercised.
Puerto Rico H.B. 156 Amends Law 104 of 1955, known as Claims and Lawsuits Against the State, in order to correct text, restore the application of the liability limits for medical malpractice relating to the Cardiovascular Center of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, and to provide that Article 2 shall apply to professional medical staff working in certain government agencies.
Puerto Rico

H.B. 193

Signed by governor 8/13/13

Law 101

Amends Law 77 of 1957 known as the Code of Insurance in order to eliminate the benefits of the limits of liability for malpractice that is subject the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and Trauma Centers that are designated for stabilization; relates to provisions of Law 544 of 2004; rescinds Article 12 entitled Limits of Liability with respect to Regulation 8131 of the Department of Health.
Puerto Rico H.B. 393 Amends Law 139 of 2008 relative to the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline of Puerto Rico to establish and maintain a database to give notice to potential patients about cases of malpractice awarded against doctors in Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico

H.B. 655

Passed House 6/3/13
Amends Law 194 of 2000 known as the Bill of Rights and Responsibilities of Patients to establishes rights to select patients judicial forum of choice in cases of damages for medical malpractice; prohibits the forum selection clauses in the consent forms illustrated or similar documents.
Puerto Rico H.B. 1090 Amends Law 77 of 1957, the Insurance Code, in order to increase financial responsibility limits applicable to health professionals of specialized practices or high risk specialties; amends Law 1 of 2011, the Internal Revenue Code for a New Puerto Rico, in order to provide an incentive to doctors, osteopaths, dentists or podiatrists who purchase coverage under a medical professional liability insurance in excess of the limits required by said Law 77.
Rhode Island H.B. 5380 This act provides that statements by a health care provider to a patient or to the patient’s family regarding the outcome of such patient’s medical care and treatment such as an apology or expression of sympathy shall be inadmissible as evidence or an admission of liability in any claim or action against the provider.
Rhode Island S.B. 695

This act creates an early offer mechanism for the resolution of medical injury claims.

South Carolina H.B. 3320 Adds §44-7-263 so as to require a nursing home to carry a minimum of a $100,000 liability insurance policy.
South Carolina H.B. 4132 Amends §15-36-100, relating to actions for damages relating to professional negligence against a professional licensed or registered by the state, so as to require that the affidavit of an expert witness must specify each negligent act or omission claimed to exist, the damages proximately caused from each negligent act or omission, and the factual basis for each negligent act or omission, damages, and proximate cause based on the available evidence at the time of the filing of the affidavit.
South Carolina S.B. 625 Amends §38-79-30, relating to volunteer health care providers, to provide that a licensed health care provider who renders medical services voluntarily and without compensation or the expectation or promise of compensation and seeks no reimbursement from charitable and governmental sources to at least 10 percent of his patients in a calendar year shall not be liable in any action for noneconomic damages alleging medical malpractice in an amount that exceeds $250,000.
South Carolina S.B. 773 Amends chapter 7, title 1 of the 1976 code, relating to the attorney general and solicitors, enacts article 2, the "Transparency in Private Attorney Contracts Act", provides definitions, provides that the state may not enter into contingency fee contracts without a written determination by the attorney general, sets the maximum for contingency fee contracts, provides for certain requirements that must be met during the term of the contract, and provides that by Feb. 1 of each year, the attorney general shall submit a report to the president pro tempore of the Senate, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the governor describing the use of contingency fee contracts with private attorneys in the preceding calendar year and provides for the contents of the report; amends §15-36-100, relating to actions for professional negligence, to provide that a defendant who files a counterclaim asserting a claim for professional negligence shall file the required affidavit; amends chapter 79, title 15, relating to medical malpractice actions, by adding §15-79-135 to provide that evidence offered to prove past medical expenses shall be limited to evidence of the amounts actually paid to satisfy the bills that have been satisfied and evidence of the amounts actually necessary to satisfy the bills that have been incurred but not yet satisfied; amends chapter 135, title 44, relating to the asbestos and silica claims procedure act of 2006, by adding §44-135-65 to define "asbestos trust claim", provides that a claimant shall provide to all of the parties in an asbestos tort action a sworn statement by the claimant, under penalty of perjury, identifying all existing asbestos trust claims made by or on behalf of the claimant and all trust claims material pertaining to each identified asbestos trust claim, and provides the manner in which a defendant may make a motion to stay the proceedings of an asbestos tort action and other procedures related to a defendant's motion to stay the proceedings; amends chapter 1, title 56, relating to driver's licenses, by adding §56-1-2165 to provide that no person or entity who employs or contracts with a person who holds a valid commercial driver's license shall be held liable in any civil action arising out his operation of any motor vehicle on any theory of negligent hiring, negligent retention, or negligent entrustment, provided the person meets all of the requirements of CFR parts 383 and 391 at the time of the accident and at the time of hiring, with certain exceptions and no person or entity who employs or contracts with a person who drives a motor vehicle shall be held liable in any civil action arising out his operation of any motor vehicle on any theory of negligent training or supervision with certain exceptions; amends chapter 5, title 56, relating to the uniform act regulating traffic on highways, by adding §56-5-6255 to provide that a violation of a regulation enacted under the motor vehicle traffic and safety statutes and regulations of this state, or the federal motor carrier safety regulations, or a conviction of a moving violation does not constitute gross negligence, recklessness, or willful conduct per se, but may be used as evidence of such conduct; and amends §56-5-6540, relating to admissibility as evidence of negligence in a civil action, to remove the provision that a violation of this article is not negligence per se or contributory negligence, and it is not admissible as evidence in a civil action.
South Carolina S.B. 788 Amends §15-32-220, relating to noneconomic damages limit, to provide for personal injury actions against defendants and to make technical changes; adds §15-32-250 to provide for pleadings in claims for punitive damages, adds §15-32-260 to provide for bifurcated trials for award of damages, adds §15-32-270 to limit punitive damages, and adds §15-35-280 to provide restrictions for awarding punitive damages; repeals article 5, chapter 32, title 15, relating to punitive damages; amends chapter 3, title 27, relating to limitation on liability of landowners, to define terms relating to the chapter and to provide for the liability of an owner, lessee, or occupant of agricultural land and real property; and amends §37-3-106, relating to the definition of loans, to provide that a loan includes the provision of a cash advance or funds to a person in exchange for that person assigning, conveying, or otherwise conferring, to the person or entity advancing the cash advance or funds, the right to receive the proceeds, or part thereof, of the settlement, insurance payment, or award of damages.
South Dakota

H.B. 1233

Signed by governor 3/21/13 Chapter 231
Grants limited immunity for the provision of voluntary medical services under certain circumstances.
South Dakota H.B. 1236 Prohibits the recovery of damages in certain wrongful birth and wrongful life civil suits based upon the lost opportunity to terminate the life of an unborn child.
Tennessee

H.B. 272

S.B. 475

Establishes new requirements for healthcare liability actions in an emergency department of a hospital.
Tennessee

H.B. 967

Substituted 3/4/13

S.B. 273

Signed by governor 3/20/13
Public Chapter 23
Provides for the destruction of any protected health information obtained in course of interviews with claimant's healthcare providers at the end of litigation and requires a qualified protective order to provide that participation in interview by treating healthcare provider is voluntary.
Tennessee

H.B. 1058

S.B. 274

Compels experts in health care liability action to provide testimony on written statement in certain circumstances.
Tennessee S.B. 14 Provides for the destruction of any protected health information obtained in course of interviews with claimant's healthcare providers at the end of litigation and requires a qualified protective order to provide that participation in interview by treating healthcare provider is voluntary.
Texas

H.B. 746

Signed by governor 6/14/13
Chapter 1264
Amends the Occupations Code to enact the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act, applicable to volunteer health practitioners who are registered with the bill's registration system that is administered by the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) and who provide health or veterinary services in Texas for a host entity while an emergency declaration is in effect. The bill provides for the Texas Division of Emergency Management's regulation by order of volunteer health practitioner services and certain other related matters while an emergency declaration is in effect and establishes consulting, coordinating, and compliance requirements for a host entity that uses volunteer health practitioners to provide health or veterinary services in Texas. The bill establishes content and functionality requirements for the volunteer health practitioner registration system, sets out DSHS's authorities and duties with respect to satisfying those requirements and managing licensing or criminal history record information of practitioners seeking registration, prohibits DSHS from allowing a registration applicant who has an unacceptable licensing or criminal history to register, and prohibits such an applicant from serving as a volunteer health practitioner.  The bill provides for the confirmation by DSHS that volunteer health practitioners used in Texas are registered with the system while an emergency declaration is in effect and specifies that a host entity is not required to use the services of a volunteer health practitioner even if the practitioner is registered with the system and the system indicates that the practitioner is licensed and in good standing and has an acceptable criminal history. Authorizes the division to incorporate into the emergency forces of Texas volunteer health practitioners who are not officers or employees of the state or a political subdivision of the state and to adopt rules to implement the bill's provisions, and sets out requirements for such rule adoption. The bill provides for the limited civil and vicarious liability of a volunteer health practitioner, with certain exceptions, and limits the civil liability of a person who operates, uses, or relies on information provided by the volunteer health practitioner registration system except in cases involving certain conduct.
Texas H.B. 2644

Relates to the scope of a health care liability claim.

Texas H.B. 2843 Relates to an objection of a defendant physician or health care provider to an expert report filed in a health care liability claim.
Texas

H.B. 3201

Signed by governor 6/14/13
Chapter 709
Provides that a member of the board may not express an oral or written opinion or serve as an expert witness in a civil action that is: (1) related to an administrative matter within the board ’s jurisdiction; (2) brought against or for a person licensed or registered under this subtitle; and (3) for the injury to or death of a patient or for a violation of the standard of care or the commission of malpractice.
Utah

H.B. 135

Signed by governor 3/28/13
Chapter 275
This bill provides that a certificate of compliance must be issued for a health care provider or health care entity to allocate fault in a prelitigation medical malpractice or arbitration hearing; and requires that evidence from a medical review panel remain unreportable to a health care facility or health insurance plan.
Utah

H.B. 146

Signed by governor 3/26/13

Chapter 104

This bill expands the definition of "health care provider" to include licensed athletic trainers; exempts the term "licensed athletic trainer" from the definition of "health care provider" in provisions of the insurance code; and makes technical changes.
Utah

S.B. 27

Signed by governor 3/22/13
Chapter 55
This bill establishes a uniform sunset date for Title 58, Chapter 13, Health Care Providers Immunity From Liability Act; and removes the separate sunset date for §58-13-2.5 within Title 58, Chapter 13, Health Care Providers Immunity From Liability Act.
Vermont H.B. 35 This bill proposes to establish a no-fault compensation program for medical injury claims brought against primary care physicians in Vermont. The program, which would replace the current litigation-based medical malpractice system with respect to primary care providers, provides for the payment of compensation to any person injured as a result of treatment provided by a primary care physician, irrespective of fault on the part of the physician. Compensation to the injured person is made from a fund capitalized by annual assessments paid by physicians practicing primary care in Vermont. Physicians who pay assessments into the fund will no longer be required to purchase medical malpractice insurance for providing primary care. The bill establishes a Medical Injury Review Board to hear and decide applications for compensation submitted by injured persons.
Vermont H.B. 404 This bill requires a claimant to file a notice of intent to file a claim 182 days prior to filing a complaint for medical malpractice and requires a health care provider or health care facility to fully inform a patient and, when appropriate, a patient’s family when a patient suffers an unanticipated outcome with significant medical complication resulting from a provider’s mistake.
Vermont S.B. 146 This bill requires a claimant to file a notice of intent to file a claim 182 days prior to filing a complaint for medical malpractice and requires a health care provider or health care facility to fully inform a patient and, when appropriate, a patient’s family when a patient suffers an unanticipated outcome with significant medical complication resulting from a provider’s mistake.
Virginia

H.B. 1433

Signed by governor 3/20/13

Chapter 551

S.B. 1164

Signed by governor 3/21/13
Chapter 689
Provides that, in actions that accrue on or after July 1, 2013, the past and future expenses of curing or attempting to cure an infant from a personal injury that the infant's parent or guardian has paid or is personally obligated to pay are damages recoverable by the infant in an action against the tort-feasor who caused the infant's injuries. The infant's parent or guardian who has paid or is personally obligated to pay such expenses has a lien and right of reimbursement against any recovery of the infant. Currently, the infant's parent or guardian may maintain a separate action against the tort-feasor for such expenses. The bill also provides that an infant's claim for medical expenses that accrues on or after July 1, 2013, shall be brought within the limitations period applicable to the infant's cause of action. Currently, such action must be brought within five years from the time the action accrued.
Virginia

H.B. 1545

Signed by governor 3/5/13

Chapter 65

S.B. 699

Signed by governor 3/20/13
Chapter 610
Provides that in an action for medical malpractice or wrongful death premised on medical malpractice, the court, upon good cause shown, may conduct an in camera review of the opinion obtained by the plaintiff of an expert witness who certified that the defendant deviated from the applicable standard of care and the deviation was the proximate cause of the injuries claimed. Such a certification is required before any action for medical malpractice or wrongful death premised on medical malpractice may be instituted, except in cases where cause of the injuries claimed lies within the jury's common knowledge and experience.
Virginia

H.B. 1815

Signed by governor 3/5/13
Chapter 78

Provides that the method for introducing into evidence medical records or reports in general district court in a civil action for personal injuries or to resolve a dispute with an insurance company or health care provider also applies to appeals of such action to the circuit court regardless of which party appeals. Currently, the same method only applies if the defendant appeals. This method of introducing medical records or reports into evidence may only be used by a plaintiff in an appeal to circuit court if the plaintiff has not requested an amount on appeal in excess of the damages sought in the general district court.

Virginia H.B. 1874 Amends the discovery rule, which triggers the running of the statute of limitations in medical malpractice cases involving the diagnosis of a malignant tumor or cancer. The bill provides that for a claim that negligence is a proximate cause of the failure to diagnose or a delay in the diagnosis of a tumor or cancer, the two-year statute of limitations is extended for one year from the date the diagnosis is communicated to the patient. Under current law, the claim must be that there was a negligent failure to diagnose the tumor or cancer.
Virginia

S.B. 750

Signed by governor 3/13/13
Chapter 320
Provides that regulations of the Board of Health shall require nursing homes and certified nursing facilities to maintain liability insurance coverage in a minimum amount of $1 million and professional liability coverage in an amount at least equal to the recovery limit set forth in §8.01-581.15 to compensate patients or individuals for injuries and losses resulting from the negligent or criminal acts of the facility. The bill provides that failure to maintain such minimum insurance coverage shall result in revocation of the facility's license. The bill also provides that regulations of the Board of Social Services shall require that assisted living facilities disclose to any resident or prospective resident whether the assisted living facility maintains liability insurance in force to compensate residents for injuries and losses and that no facility shall state that liability insurance is in place unless such insurance provides a minimum amount of coverage established for purposes of disclosure by regulations of the Board of Social Services.
Virginia

S.B. 869

Incorporated into S.B. 750 1/31/13

Requires nursing homes, certified nursing facilities, and assisted living facilities to inform patients and residents about liability insurance available to pay claims of the patient or resident and to report such information to the commissioner of Health or the commissioner of Social Services, as applicable.
Virginia

S.B. 1255

Incorporated into S.B. 699 2/1/13

Provides that in an action for medical malpractice or wrongful death premised on medical malpractice, the court, upon good cause shown, may conduct an in camera review of the opinion obtained by the plaintiff of an expert witness who certified that the defendant deviated from the applicable standard of care and the deviation was the proximate cause of the injuries claimed. Such a certification is required before any action for medical malpractice or wrongful death premised on medical malpractice may be instituted, except in cases where cause of the injuries claimed lies within the jury's common knowledge and experience.
Virgin Islands not available  
Washington

H.B. 1299

S.B. 5171

Repeals the exemption from disclosure for certain identifying data relating to medical malpractice closed claim reporting.
Washington

H.B. 1533

Signed by governor 4/25/13
Chapter 82
Eliminates the requirement that a claimant provide 90-day prior notice of his or her intent to file an action based on the professional negligence of a health care provider.
Washington

H.B. 1638

Passed House 3/8/13

S.B. 5471

Passed Senate 3/12/13

Repeals the requirement that the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) prepare statistical summaries regarding medical malpractice reporting data; repeals the requirement that OIC prepare a comparison report regarding any model statistical reporting standards adopted by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners; clarifies that OIC must use data rather than reports for the annual medical malpractice report to the Legislature and changes the due date of the report from June 30 to Sept. 1.
West Virginia H.B. 2241 Relates to adding pharmacist and pharmacy to the definition of "health care provider" as used in the Medical Professional Liability Act.
West Virginia

H.B. 2519

Signed by governor 4/30/13

Act 196

Amends and reenacts §11-24-43a; amends and reenacts §31-15A-16; and amends and reenacts §33-20F-4, all relating to reallocation and repatriation of certain funds to the General Revenue Fund; eliminates the required payments into the Special Railroad and Intermodal Enhancement Fund for fiscal year 2014; reduces the amount deposited annually to the credit of the West Virginia Infrastructure General Obligation Debt Service Fund, subject to certain limitations, conditions and constraints; eliminates provisions regarding a loan from the Tobacco Settlement Medical Trust Fund to the Physician’s Mutual Insurance Company; eliminates the requirement that certain taxes imposed upon medical malpractice insurance premiums to paid into the Revenue Shortfall Reserve Fund.
West Virginia

H.B. 2731

Signed by governor 5/3/13
Act 91
Regulates the performance of health maintenance tasks by unlicensed personnel in personal care facilities; identifies who may perform health maintenance tasks; requires record keeping; requires the administrative monitoring system to have input from registered professional nurses; requires liability insurance; requires legislative rules necessary to implement the article; creates an advisory committee to review definition of health maintenance tasks, policies and procedures.
West Virginia S.B. 24

Clarifies that actions brought for damages for injuries suffered in a nursing home are subject to the same liability limitations as other medical professional liability actions.

West Virginia

S.B. 101

Signed by governor 4/30/13

Act 142

Clarifies that the Medical Professional Liability Act applies to nursing homes and their health care providers.

Wisconsin A.B. 120 This bill provides that a statement or conduct of a health care provider that expresses apology, benevolence, compassion, condolence, fault, liability, remorse, responsibility, or sympathy to a patient or patient’s relative or representative is not admissible into evidence or subject to discovery in any civil action or administrative hearing regarding the health care provider as evidence of liability or as an admission against interest.
Wisconsin A.B. 270 This bill adds all of the following health care professionals to those who may participate in, and receive the protections of, the volunteer health care provider program: nurse aides, emergency medical technicians, psychologists, certified social workers, licensed marriage and family therapists, licensed professional counselors, advanced practice nurses who are certified to issue prescription orders, medical assistants who hold certain certifications, health educators meeting certain criteria, and dental assistants.  Also, the bill exempts certain advanced practice nurses who are certified to issue prescription orders from current law requirements to provide proof of financial responsibility and maintain malpractice insurance while those advanced practice nurses are serving as a volunteer health care provider under the program.
Wisconsin A.B. 296 This bill provides that a statement or conduct of a health care provider that expresses apology, benevolence, compassion, condolence, remorse, or sympathy to a patient or patient’s relative or representative is not admissible into evidence or subject to discovery in any civil action or administrative hearing regarding the health care provider as evidence of liability or as an admission against interest.
Wisconsin S.B. 129 This bill provides that a statement or conduct of a health care provider that expresses apology, benevolence, compassion, condolence, fault, liability, remorse, responsibility, or sympathy to a patient or patient’s relative or representative is not admissible into evidence or subject to discovery in any civil action or administrative hearing regarding the health care provider as evidence of liability or as an admission against interest.
Wisconsin S.B. 391 This bill allows an individual who holds a valid, unexpired license, certification, or registration issued by another state or territory that authorizes or qualifies the individual to perform acts that are substantially the same as those acts that an individual who is currently allowed to volunteer in the program is licensed or certified to perform and who performs acts that are within the scope of that license, certification, or registration (out-of-state volunteer) to participate in the volunteer health care provider program. An applicant who is licensed, certified, or registered in a state outside of Wisconsin may only make a joint application with a nonprofit agency, and thus, may not provide volunteer services under the program at a school. The bill prohibits the DOA from disapproving an application based solely on the nonprofit agency being organized under the laws of a state other than Wisconsin. The bill also prohibits an out-of-state volunteer from providing services under the program for more than 60 days in any 90 day period. Under the bill, however, an out-of-state volunteer who has sufficient liability insurance coverage and who submits a joint application with a nonprofit agency that has sufficient liability coverage is not an agent of the state for liability purposes. Instead the bill provides that an out-of-state volunteer who meets those criteria is not liable for any civil damages for any act or omission resulting from providing services through the volunteer health care provider program, unless the act or omission is the result of the out-of-state volunteer’s gross negligence or willful misconduct or the act or omission violates a state statute or rule. The bill places requirements on the nonprofit agencies that apply jointly with health care professionals to participate in the volunteer health care provider program. Under the bill, the nonprofit agency must assume responsibility for approving the health care professionals and must research and validate the credentials of those health care professionals before submitting the joint application to be a volunteer health care provider. The bill requires the nonprofit agency to enter the list of volunteer health care providers providing services at that agency into an online, electronic system that is developed by DOA. The bill requires the nonprofit agency to monitor its volunteer health care providers and terminate a provider’s participation in the program when the agency questions the provider’s credentials or disapproves of the practices of that provider. The bill also requires the nonprofit agency to prepare and submit to DOA an annual report including the types and number of health care services provided by the nonprofit agency under the program.
Wisconsin S.B. 460 Under current law, as stated in Estate of Wells v. Mt. Sinai Medical Center, 183 Wis. 2d 677 (1994), a parent does not have the right to recover for the loss of society and companionship of an adult child whose injuries were the result of medical malpractice. This bill provides that a parent does have the right to recover for loss of society and companionship if the parent’s adult child is injured as the result of medical malpractice. Under current law, as stated in Czapinski v. St. Francis Hospital, Inc., 236 Wis. 2d 316 (2000), an adult child does not have the right to recover for the loss of society and companionship of a parent who died as the result of medical malpractice. This bill provides that an adult child does have the right to recover for loss of society and companionship if the adult child’s parent dies as the result of medical malpractice.


Powered by State Net

 

 

Heather Morton is a program principal in Fiscal Affairs. She covers medical liability and medical malpractice issues for NCSL.

Additional Resources

Share this: 
New Members Welcome
We are the nation's most respected bipartisan organization providing states support, ideas, connections and a strong voice on Capitol Hill.

NCSL Member Toolbox

Denver

7700 East First Place
Denver, CO 80230
Tel: 303-364-7700 | Fax: 303-364-7800

Washington

444 North Capitol Street, N.W., Suite 515
Washington, D.C. 20001
Tel: 202-624-5400 | Fax: 202-737-1069

Copyright 2014 by National Conference of State Legislatures