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Medical Liability or Malpractice 2011 Legislation

Medical Liability/Medical Malpractice 2011 Legislation

Last updated: August 15, 2012

NCSL Staff Contact: Heather Morton, Denver

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; and

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

Forty-two states and Puerto Rico introduced legislation in the 2011 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

NCSL Related Web pages:

 

AL | AZ | CT | DE | FL | GA | HIIL | IN | IA | KS | KY | LA | ME | MD | MA | MI | MN | MS | MO | MT | NE
NV | NH | NJ | NM | NY | NC | OK | OR | PA | PR | RI | SC | TN | TXUT | VT | VA | WA | WV | WI | WY
STATE
BILL SUMMARY
Alabama

S.B. 187
Signed by governor 6/9/11, Act 629
Amends §12-21-160 relating to expert witness opinions in civil and criminal proceedings; provides further for the admissibility of expert witness opinions.

Alaska
none
Arizona

H.B. 2172
Makes technical amendment regarding the nonadmissibility of certain types of evidence relating to professional liability insurance.

H.B. 2349
Makes technical correction regarding interest payments in medical malpractice judgments.

S.B. 1031
Provides that the elements of proof in all medical malpractice actions shall be established by clear and convincing evidence.

S.B. 1212
Signed by governor 4/13/11, Chapter 99
Decreases the interest rate of medical malpractice judgments from three percentage to one percentage point above the federal postjudgment interest rate.

S.B. 1366
Passed Senate 2/28/11
Provides that a physician who is licensed pursuant to title 32, chapter 13 or 17, who provides services within the scope of practice of the physician and who does not receive compensation for any services provided may request that a patient sign a liability waiver before the physician provides any services to the patient. Provides that the physician is not liable in any medical malpractice action initiated by a patient who signs a liability waiver, unless the physician was grossly negligent.

S.B. 1429
Signed by governor 4/19/11, Chapter 192
States that a student of an educational or training program of a certified, accredited or state approved postsecondary institution that prepares students for licensing as a health care provider: (i) Is not liable in a medical malpractice action for injury that occurs during, or as a result of, care provided while the student is in the program and under supervision of a licensed health care provider unless gross negligence is established by clear and convincing evidence and (ii) does not owe an independent duty of care to a patient if the student is participating in patient care under the supervision of a licensed health care provider. Specifies that the responsibility of the supervising licensed health care provider for the student’s actions is not eliminated by this section.

S.B. 1479
Makes technical amendment regarding the nonadmissibility of certain types of evidence relating to professional liability insurance.

Arkansas
none
California
none
Colorado
none
Connecticut

H.B. 5328
Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/1/11
Requires the Department of Public Health to provide notification of malpractice awards or settlements to other state licensing agencies when the award or settlement involves a health care provider who was formerly licensed in the state but who subsequently left the state and is now known or believed to be practicing in another state.

H.B. 5633
Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/1/11
Requires medical institutions to notify the Department of Public Health when an employee of the institution has been finally adjudicated by a Connecticut court to have breached a duty of care.

H.B. 5760
Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/15/11
Limits 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 facility per event, and (3) $750,000 overall for each event.

H.B. 6487
Passed House 5/26/11
This bill expands the types of health care providers who may provide a prelitigation opinion letter concerning evidence of medical negligence in a medical malpractice lawsuit or apportionment complaint. It eliminates the requirement that the opinion letter include a detailed basis for the formation of the opinion, instead requiring that it state one or more specific breaches of the prevailing professional standard of care. The bill allows dismissal due to failure to obtain and file the opinion letter only if the claimant does not (1) attach a copy of the opinion letter to the good faith certificate, as is required by law or (2) remedy the failure to obtain and file the letter within 60 days of the court's order to do so.

H.B. 6547
Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/1/11
Requires the Department of Public Health, upon notification of a medical malpractice award or settlement against an individual licensed by the department, to notify the licensing agency of any other state or territory where the individual is known or believed to be practicing of such award or settlement.

H.B. 6622
Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/15/11
Provides that a claimant in a medical malpractice action establish the negligence of a health care provider by clear and convincing evidence; and provides that health care providers who render care in emergency departments of acute care hospitals and licensed medical professionals who render emergency care voluntarily and gratuitously be liable for acts or omissions constituting a reckless disregard for the consequences.

S.B. 338
Failed Joint Favorable deadline 4/15/11
Provides that in civil actions, whether in tort or in contract, to recover damages resulting from personal injury or wrongful death in which it is alleged that such injury or death resulted from the negligence of a health care provider, no claimant may be awarded more than two hundred fifty thousand dollars for noneconomic damages.

S.B. 1207
Signed by governor 7/8/11, Public Act 11-77
This act changes the timing of, and eliminates plaintiff's obligation to provide the defendant with information before filing an offer to compromise in, medical malpractice actions. An offer to compromise is a written pretrial offer by the plaintiff to settle a civil lawsuit for a specific amount of money. Under prior law, at least 60 days before filing an offer, the plaintiff had to: (1) state with specificity the damages on which the lawsuit is based, (2) provide a release for medical records, and (3) disclose all experts who would be testifying about the prevailing professional standard of care. The plaintiff also had to file a certification with the court indicating he or she had provided defendant with all documentation supporting the damages claim. The defendant had 30 days to accept the offer; he or she could not do so after a verdict or court award had been issued. Under the act, the plaintiff has no obligation to provide the defendant with the information described above, but it cannot make an offer less than 365 days after it filed the suit. The offer is deemed rejected if not accepted (1) within 60 days (in other civil actions, the law gives the defendant 30 days) and (2) before the jury or the court issues an award. The defendant cannot accept an offer after these deadlines unless the plaintiff re-files it. By law, if the defendant rejects the offer and the plaintiff receives a damage award that equals or exceeds it, the defendant must pay the plaintiff eight percent interest on the award plus court-assigned legal fees. In some circumstances, the accrual of interest runs from the date the complaint was filed. In others it runs from the date the offer of compromise was filed.

Delaware

H.B. 165
Signed by governor 7/8/11, Chapter 101
This bill clarifies that the duty of physicians and health care facilities to report under this paragraph is to report changes that result in the partial or full removal of a physician’s hospital privileges as the result of adverse events, unprofessional conduct or competency issues and not to report changes that enhance or add to the physician’s privileges.

District of Columbia
none
Florida

H.B. 277
Signed by governor 6/2/11, Chapter 113
Requires that a claim in a wrongful death case be presented to the Department of Financial Services (DFS) within two years after the claim accrues; provides that the failure of DFS or the appropriate agency to make a final disposition within 90 days after filing is deemed to be final denial of claim; tolls the statute of limitations for the time taken by DFS or other agency to deny medical malpractice or wrongful death claim; provides that actions for wrongful death against state or one of its agencies or subdivisions must be brought within the period applicable to actions brought against other defendants.

H.B. 479
Signed by governor 6/27/11, Chapter 233
Requires the Department of Health (DOH) to issue expert witness certificates to certain physicians and dentists licensed outside of the state; provides application and certification requirements and exemptions for physicians and dentists issued certifications from certain licensure and fee requirements; provides additional grounds for disciplinary actions; requires the Board of Medicine and Board of Osteopathic Medicine to adopt certain patient forms specifying cataract surgery risks; provides for execution and admissibility of patient forms in civil and administrative proceedings.

H.B. 1157
Died in committee 5/7/11
Specifies that Part II of Chapter 501, F.S., Deceptive & Unfair Trade Practice Act, applies to the business of insurance; provides that rate standards for medical malpractice insurance apply to separate affiliate of insurer; requires medical malpractice liability insurer to file surcharge or discount schedule with Director of OIR before applying certain rates or surcharges; requires OIR to consider certain factors in determining insurer's rate base; requires medical malpractice insurer to provide specified information when submitting rate filing.

H.B. 1393
Laid on table 5/3/11
Provides legislative findings and intent; provides sovereign immunity to certain health care providers affiliated with medical school while providing patient services at public teaching hospital; provides that such health care providers are agents of state and are immune from certain liability for torts; requires contract to provide for indemnification; provides that portion of not-for-profit entity deemed agent of state for purpose of indemnity is also agency of state for purpose of public records laws.

H.B. 4207
Died in committee 5/7/11
Repeals provisions relating to prevention of recovery of damages for wrongful death by adult children of decedent or by parents of adult child with respect to claims for medical negligence; conforms provisions to changes made by act.

S.B. 594
Substituted by H.B. 277 4/29/11
Requires that a claim in a wrongful death case be presented to the Department of Financial Services (DFS) within two years after the claim accrues. Provides that failure of the DFS or the appropriate agency to make final disposition of a claim for wrongful death within 90 days after it is filed is deemed to be a final denial of the claim. Tolls the statute of limitations for the period of time taken by the DFS or other agency to deny a medical malpractice or wrongful death claim. Specifies applicability to workers' compensation claims.

S.B. 966
Died in committee 5/7/11
Provides that certain health care providers and vendors, and their agents and employees, who primarily serve clients with specified conditions may be considered agents and employees of the state or its subdivisions with respect to such services while acting within the scope of and pursuant to guidelines established in a contractual agreement or Medicaid provider agreement. Requires indemnification. Provides construction of provisions.

S.B. 1590
Substituted by H.B. 479 5/3/11
Requires the Department of Health to issue expert witness certificates to certain physicians and dentists licensed outside the state. Provides application and certification requirements. Requires the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine to adopt within a specified period certain patient forms specifying cataract surgery risks. Provides that a volunteer team physician is not liable for civil damages unless treatment was rendered in a wrongful manner.

S.B. 1676
Signed by governor 6/24/11, Chapter 219
Provides that specified provisions relating to sovereign immunity for health care providers do not apply to certain affiliation agreements or contracts to provide certain comprehensive health care services. Provides that certain colleges and universities that own or operate a medical school or any of its employees or agents providing patient services pursuant to a contract with a teaching hospital are agents of the teaching hospital and are immune from certain liability for torts.

S.B. 1892
Laid on table 4/13/11
Requires the Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine to issue expert witness certificates to certain physicians licensed outside the state. Expands the scope of practice to authorize an advanced registered nurse practitioner to order, administer, monitor, and alter any drug or drug therapies that are necessary for the proper medical care and treatment of a patient under specified circumstances. Revises the burden of proof that a claimant must demonstrate in order to prove medical negligence by a health care provider.

S.B. 1908
Withdrawn 5/7/11
Removes an exemption from regulation under the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act provided for persons or activities regulated by the Office of Insurance Regulation of the Financial Services Commission. Specifies that the business of insurance is subject to the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act. Clarifies that an affiliate of a medical malpractice insurer is subject to the provisions that govern rates for medical malpractice insurance.

S.B. 1924
Withdrawn 5/7/11
Provides certain medical schools with sovereign immunity protection while their employees and students provide services to public health trust patients at certain hospitals and health care facilities.

Georgia

H.B. 147
Signed by governor 5/11/11, Act 108
Amends Chapter 34A of Title 43 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, the "Patient Right to Know Act of 2001," so as to include information as to whether a physician has medical malpractice insurance as part of the physician profile; provides that a patient has the right to inquire as to whether the physician carries medical malpractice insurance; changes certain provisions relating to violations and penalties; requires the Georgia Composite Medical Board to compile an annual report.

S.B. 149
Establishes the "Georgia Medicaid Access Act"; amends Chapter 4 of Title 49 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to public assistance, so as to provide for the filing of a proposed complaint of a medical malpractice claim against a medical assistance provider; provides for a short title; to provide for legislative intent; defines certain terms; provides for the appointment and selection of medical review panels; provides for attorney's fees and court costs; provides for discovery and hearing procedures; amends Article 2 of Chapter 9 of Title 9 of the Official Code of Georgia, relating to medical malpractice arbitration, so as to include actions for medical malpractice in the definition of a medical malpractice claim for which arbitration is authorized; amends Chapter 9 of Title 33 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, relating to regulation of rates, underwriting rules, and related organizations, so as to require that medical malpractice insurers provide a reduction in premium for medical malpractice policies under certain circumstances.

Guam
not available
Hawaii

H.B. 111
Authorizes courts in medical tort litigation to impose sanctions on a nonprevailing party whose rejection of the medical claim conciliation panel's decision resulted in the subsequent litigation.

H.B. 473
Limits non-economic damages in medical tort actions contingent on compliance with premium rate caps by insurers providing professional liability insurance in Hawaii. Sunsets on the earlier of the date on which an insurer does not comply with the premium rate caps, or July 1, 2017.

H.B. 598
S.B. 790
Establishes a tax credit equal to five percent of the amount of medical malpractice insurance premium paid by a physician who provides on-call services to emergency departments.

H.B. 634
Generally limits noneconomic damages in medical tort actions to $250,000, with a limit of $3,000,000 in actions involving catastrophic damages; requires the reduction of medical malpractice insurance premiums.

H.B. 930
Limits noneconomic damages in medical torts to $250,000, except upon a finding of gross negligence. Requires DOH to evaluate the effectiveness of noneconomic damages limits and report to the legislature.

H.B. 1131
Provides that the acts or omissions of a physician engaged in the practice of medicine shall not make the physician liable for murder in the second degree or manslaughter even if the act or omission has the secondary effect of advancing the time of death of a patient.

H.B. 1538
Establishes the Medical Claims Conciliation Office and the positions of executive director and hearing officer. Directs the hearing officer to conduct hearings on medical claims in accordance with the administrative procedure act. Makes opinions issued by the hearing officer binding upon the parties. Allows for any party to a decision of the Medical Claims Conciliation Office to file an appeal and request a trial de novo. Requires the party filing the appeal and request for trial de novo to pay the attorney's fees and other costs under certain conditions.

S.B. 270
Revises medical tort reform laws to: allow for arbitration of medical services contracts, create a new cap on noneconomic damages for medical torts, allow for introduction of evidence, limit contingency fees, and allow for periodic payments for future damages. Redefines noneconomic damages for purposes of tort actions. Limits the amount recoverable for noneconomic damages to $250,000.

S.B. 592
Authorizes the court, in medical tort litigation, to impose sanctions on a nonprevailing party whose rejection of the medical claim conciliation panel's decision resulted in the subsequent litigation. Amends requirements for the certificate accompanying any claim filed with the medical claim conciliation panel.

S.B. 595
Passed Senate 3/8/11
Establishes a tax credit equal to          percent of the amount of medical malpractice insurance premium paid by a physician or clinic if at least         percent of their total patient caseload consists of patients on Medicaid.

Idaho
none
Illinois

H.B. 105
Signed by governor 8/9/11, Public Act 97-0280
Creates the Patients' Right to Know Act. Provides for the Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to make available to the public a profile of each licensed physician and chiropractor on an Internet website or in writing if requested by an individual. Requires on the profiles the full name of the physician, any criminal convictions for felonies and Class A misdemeanors, any Department disciplinary action within the most recent five years, name of medical schools attended and date of attendance and graduation, specialty board certification, the number of years in practice and locations, the name of hospital where physician has privileges, and other requirements. Permits the Disciplinary Board to provide copies of the profiles to the physicians prior to publication and allows 60 days for the physician to correct any inaccuracies. Provides the physician the option to exclude any information concerning academic appointments, teaching responsibilities, publications in peer-reviewed journals, and any professional and community service awards if the physician or chiropractor chooses not to publish such information. Sets any penalties for a violation of this Act to be provided for in the Medical Practice Act of 1987. Repeals similar provisions of the Medical Practice Act of 1987 that were enacted by Public Act 94-677, which has been held unconstitutional.

H.B. 672
Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Makes a technical change in a section concerning arbitration of medical malpractice disputes.

H.B. 1669
Amends the Illinois Insurance Code to re-enact certain provisions of Public Act 94-677, which was declared to be unconstitutional. Includes explanatory, validation, and severability provisions. Includes revisory changes.

H.B. 2220
Amends the Code of Civil Procedure. Makes a technical change in the section defining medical malpractice action.

H.B. 2887
Amends the Illinois Insurance Code, the Medical Practice Act of 1987, 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. Includes explanatory and validation provisions. Makes changes relating to the reenactment, including revisory changes. Also makes these substantive changes: Amends the Code of Civil Procedure to lower the rate of interest payable on judgments; to provide for annual indexing of those rates; and to delay the accrual of interest in certain cases where a federal Medicare lien may exist against the judgment. Includes an inseverability provision.

H.B. 2940
Provides that a licensed midwife shall, at an initial consultation with a client, provide a copy of the rules under this Act and disclose to the client orally and in writing whether the licensed midwife has malpractice liability insurance coverage and the policy limits of any such coverage.

H.B. 3153
Amends the Code of Civil Procedure. Provides, with regard to a reduction in the amount of recovery from a judgment, additional reductions in an amount equal to the sum of (i) 100% of the amount of the benefits that is in excess of the amount which has been paid, not the amount billed (as shown through evidence that proves that the injured person's bill was paid in full by an amount that is less than the stated charge) by the injured person or third party and (ii) 100% of the amount of the medical benefits that is in excess of the amount which was paid by a governmental or charitable entity and for which the health provider has released the injured party from all claims shall be deducted from any judgment in an action based on an allegation of negligence or other wrongful act on the part of a licensed hospital or physician, provided that specified procedures are followed.

H.B. 3166
Creates the Health Courts Act. Establishes the Illinois Health Courts Commission with 10 members appointed by the Governor, by and with the consent of the Senate, of which: three are representatives of hospitals; three are representatives of physicians; and four are citizen representatives, with one designated as chairman by the governor. Provides for the staffing and the operation of the Commission. Establishes arbitrator qualifications, appointments and training procedures. Provides that arbitrators are subject to the Personnel Code. Provides that the Commission shall adopt rules to create an alternative dispute resolution method that provides: after the occurrence of an adverse health care event, the health care professional or health care provider involved must notify the patient or the patient's family, within 30 days after the discovery of the adverse event, that the patient has a right to seek compensation; following this, the patient may submit a claim; the health care professional or provider must notify the health court commission of the claim and provide a compensability determination to the patient within 60 days; if the event is compensable, the health care professional or provider must make an offer based upon a schedule of damages created by the Commission by rule; a patient may appeal that compensation decision to the Commission; the patient may appeal a decision to not compensate the patient for the claim, which is reviewed by an arbitrator, de novo, at a hearing at which the health care professional or provider and the patient may present evidence, including expert testimony; and the arbitrator's decision may be appealed to the appellate court. Provides that the Commission shall issue an annual report. Includes other provisions.

S.B. 701
Amends the Illinois Insurance Code. Makes a technical change in a Section concerning arbitration of medical malpractice disputes.

S.B. 1887
Amends the Illinois Insurance Code, the Medical Practice Act of 1987, 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. Includes explanatory and validation provisions. Makes changes relating to the reenactment, including revisory changes. Also makes these substantive changes: Amends the Code of Civil Procedure to lower the rate of interest payable on judgments; to provide for annual indexing of those rates; and to delay the accrual of interest in certain cases where a federal Medicare lien may exist against the judgment. Includes an inseverability provision.

S.B. 2402
Amends the Illinois Insurance Code to re-enact certain provisions of Public Act 94-677, which was declared to be unconstitutional. Includes explanatory, validation, and severability provisions. Includes revisory changes.

Indiana

S.B. 174
Passed Senate 2/22/11
Exempts accountable care organizations from the corporate practice of medicine limitation. Includes accountable care organizations in application of the laws concerning medical malpractice and peer review.

S.B. 489
Prohibits a court from admitting into evidence a writeoff, discount, or other deduction associated with a collateral source payment in a personal injury or wrongful death action, unless the action is an action for medical malpractice.

Iowa

H.F. 203
Became H.F. 601 3/9/11
H.F. 601
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.

H.B. 449
Provides that prior to accepting a patient for midwifery care, a licensed midwife shall provide information indicating whether the licensed midwife has malpractice liability insurance coverage and the policy limits of such coverage.

H.F. 490
Passed House 3/14/11
H.S.B. 27
Became H.F. 490 2/28/11
This bill relates to the filing of a certificate of merit in a medical malpractice action. The bill provides that in any action for personal injury or wrongful death against any health care provider based upon negligence, which includes a cause of action for which expert testimony is necessary to establish a prima facie case, the plaintiff is required, within 180 days of the defendant’s answer, to serve the defendant with an expert’s certificate of merit affidavit for each expert listed who is expected to testify with respect to the issues of breach of standard of care or causation. The bill provides that each certificate of merit affidavit must be signed by the expert and include the expert’s statement of familiarity with the applicable standard of care, the expert’s statement that the standard of care was breached by the health care provider named in the petition, the expert’s statement of the actions that the health care provider should have taken or failed to take to have complied with the standard of care, and the expert’s statement of the manner by which the breach of the standard of care was the cause of the injury alleged in the petition. The bill provides that a plaintiff shall serve a separate affidavit on each defendant named in the petition and that answers to interrogatories may serve as an expert’s certificate of merit affidavit in lieu of a separately executed affidavit if the interrogatories satisfy the requirements previously noted and are signed by the plaintiff’s attorney and by each expert listed in the answers to interrogatories and served upon the defendant within 180 days of the defendant’s answer. The bill provides that a certificate of merit affidavit does not preclude additional discovery and that the parties by agreement or the court for good cause shown may provide for extensions of the time limits provided in the bill. If the plaintiff is acting pro se, the plaintiff is required to sign the affidavit or answers to interrogatories and shall be bound by those provisions as if represented by an attorney. The bill provides that failure to comply with the requirements of the bill shall result, upon motion, in dismissal with prejudice of each cause of action as to which expert testimony is necessary to establish a prima facie case. A written notice of deficiency may be served upon the plaintiff for failure to comply with the requirements of the bill because of deficiencies in the affidavit or answers to interrogatories. The plaintiff shall have 14 days to cure the deficiency and failure to comply within the 14 days shall result, upon motion, in mandatory dismissal with prejudice of each action as to which expert testimony is necessary to establish a prima facie case. A party resisting a motion for mandatory dismissal under the bill has the right to request a hearing on the motion. For purposes of the bill, “health care provider” means a physician or surgeon, osteopathic physician or surgeon, dentist, podiatric physician, optometrist, pharmacist, chiropractor, physician assistant, or nurse licensed in this state, a hospital licensed pursuant to Code chapter 135B, or a health care facility licensed pursuant to Code chapter 135C.

H.F. 649
Provision Line item vetoed by governor 7/26/11
Line Item Veto Message
Provides that a hospital providing free care under this section shall be considered a state agency solely for the purposes of this section and chapter 669 and shall be afforded protection under chapter 669 as a state agency for all claims arising from the provision of free care by a health care provider registered under subsection 3 who is providing services at the hospital in accordance with this section, if the hospital has registered with the department pursuant to subsection 1.

H.S.B. 26
This bill relates to notice of claim and certificate of merit requirements in an action for medical malpractice. The bill provides that within 60 days of filing a civil action for personal injury or wrongful death against a health care provider, based upon the alleged negligence of the licensed health care provider in the practice of that profession, a plaintiff shall serve by certified mail, return receipt requested, a notice of claim upon the licensed health care provider. The notice of claim shall include a statement of the theory of liability upon which the cause of action is based and include a list of all persons to whom notices have been sent, together with a certificate of merit. The bill requires that the certificate of merit shall meet certain requirements and specifies certain information that a qualified expert who provides information in the certificate of merit shall provide. The bill provides that a separate certificate of merit shall be completed for each defendant named in the complaint, and that if a plaintiff or plaintiff’s counsel asserts in good faith that the plaintiff has insufficient time to obtain a certificate of merit prior to the expiration of the 30-day limitation period, the plaintiff shall provide notice of intent to provide a certificate of merit to the defendant within 60 days of the date the defendant receives the notice of the claim. If a plaintiff believes that a certificate of merit is not necessary because the plaintiff’s cause of action against a health care provider is based upon a res ipsa loquitur theory of liability which does not require expert testimony supporting a breach of the applicable standard of care, the plaintiff shall file a statement setting forth the basis for the alleged res ipsa loquitur liability of the health care provider in lieu of the certificate of merit. The bill further provides that the applicable statute of limitations in a civil cause of action against a health care provider upon whom a notice of claim is served shall be tolled from the date the notice of claim is mailed. In addition, if the plaintiff fails to provide a notice of claim and a certificate of merit, or a statement of the legal theory upon which the claim is based, the claim shall be dismissed without prejudice. For purposes of the bill, “health care provider” means a physician or surgeon, osteopath, osteopathic physician or surgeon, dentist, podiatric physician, optometrist, pharmacist, chiropractor, or nurse licensed in Iowa, a hospital licensed pursuant to Code chapter 135B, or a health care facility licensed pursuant to Code chapter 135C.

H.S.B. 202
This bill relates to expert witness standards, damage awards, and proportionate liability in medical malpractice actions. The bill provides that if the standard of care given by a physician or surgeon, or an osteopathic physician or surgeon licensed pursuant to Code chapter 148, or a dentist licensed pursuant to Code chapter 153, is at issue in a medical malpractice case, the court shall only allow a licensed health care provider to qualify as an expert witness and to testify on the issue of the appropriate standard of care, breach of that standard, or proximate cause if the health care provider meets certain professional practice and educational criteria. The bill provides that in any action for damages for injury or death against any health care provider, whether based in tort, contract, or otherwise, arising out of an act or omission in connection with the provision of health care services, punitive or exemplary damages may be awarded only if the jury is unanimous in regard to finding liability and the amount of exemplary or punitive damages. Notwithstanding Iowa’s rule of joint and several liability in Code §668.4, in any medical malpractice action in which there are two or more defendants, an award of punitive or exemplary damages shall be specific as to a defendant, and each defendant is liable only for the amount of the award made against that defendant. The bill provides that in any action for noneconomic damages for injury or death against any health care provider whether based in tort, contract, or otherwise, arising out of an act or omission in connection with the provision of health care services, the injured plaintiff shall be entitled to recover noneconomic damages not to exceed $250,000 from a single defendant or $500,000 from a certified class of defendants, except upon a finding of actual malice on the part of the defendant. “Noneconomic damages” is defined as damages arising from pain, suffering, inconvenience, physical impairment, mental anguish, emotional pain and suffering, loss of chance, loss of consortium, and any other nonpecuniary damages. For purposes of the damage award provisions in the bill that are to be codified in Code chapters 668A and 668B, “health care provider” means a physician defined as a person licensed to practice medicine and surgery, osteopathic medicine and surgery, osteopathy, chiropractic, podiatry, or optometry under the laws of this state pursuant to Code §135.1, an advanced registered nurse practitioner licensed pursuant to Code chapter 152, a hospital defined as a place which is devoted primarily to the maintenance and operation of facilities for the medical diagnosis, treatment, or care over a period exceeding 24 hours of two or more nonrelated individuals pursuant to Code §135B.1, and a health care facility defined as a residential care facility, a nursing facility, an intermediate care facility for persons with mental illness, or an intermediate care facility for persons with mental retardation pursuant to Code §135C.1.

S.F. 91
Provides that prior to accepting a patient for midwifery care, a licensed midwife shall provide information indicating whether the licensed midwife has malpractice liability insurance coverage and the policy limits of such coverage.

S.F. 131
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.

S.F. 484
S.S.B. 1065
Became S.F. 484 3/8/11
Provides that prior to accepting a patient for midwifery care, a licensed midwife shall provide information indicating whether the licensed midwife has malpractice liability insurance coverage and the policy limits of such coverage.
Kansas

S.B. 104
Passed Senate 2/24/11
The bill updates references in the Kansas Tort Claims Act to the Kansas Dental Board's regulations defining certain dental procedures by replacing outdated references with more general references. The Kansas Tort Claims Act includes a provision bringing charitable health care providers, as defined in the Act, within the protections from liability the Act affords state employees. Charitable providers of dental services are covered by this provision, except for certain dental procedures that are defined in Kansas Dental Board regulations.

Kentucky

H.B. 12
Signed by governor 3/16/11, Act 41
Amends KRS 422.300 to add out-of-state hospitals to the chapter's provisions relating to the production of medical records for adjudicative proceedings.

H.B. 450
Amends KRS 216.941 to provide that persons providing charitable health care and registered with the state to do so shall be treated as agents of the state for liability purposes and brought within the coverage of the Board of Claims.

Louisiana

H.B. 69
Signed by governor 6/24/11, Act 160
Relates to the Patient's Compensation Fund; provides for the investment of fund monies by the board.

H.B. 287
Signed by governor 6/28/11, Act 263
Relates to the Patient's Compensation Fund; provides for a private custodial fund; to provide for the classification of assets; exempts participation in certain funds.

H.B. 341
Adopted 6/23/11, Act 421
Proposes to add Article XII, Section 16 of the Constitution of Louisiana, relative to the Patient's Compensation Fund; authorizes the legislature to create a private custodial fund; provides relative to the assets and property of the fund; provides for exemption from a guaranty fund; provides for the payment of legal obligations; provides for submission of the proposed amendment to the electors.

H.B. 636
Signed by governor 7/6/11, Act 411
Provide a basis for a civil malpractice action for any intentional violation of this Part shall be admissible in a civil suit as prima facie evidence of a failure to comply with the requirements of this Part related to abortion. When requested, the court shall allow a woman to proceed using solely her initials or a pseudonym and may close any proceedings in the case and enter other protective orders to preserve the privacy of the woman upon whom the abortion was performed.

S.B. 61
Proposes to add Article XII, §16, of the Constitution of Louisiana, to authorize the legislature to determine limitations on liability damages in medical or health care liability claims and other claims against health care providers; to provide for submission of the proposed amendment to the electors.

Maine

L.D. 1111
Under the Maine Health Security Act, a person is allowed to commence an action for professional negligence only by first submitting the claim to a mandatory prelitigation screening and mediation panel. This bill allows a claimant whose hearing has not been held within 18 months of the submission of the claim to the panel to bypass the panel and have the case heard in Superior Court.

Maryland

H.B. 340
S.B. 887
Establishes when objections to a certificate of a qualified expert or expert report must be filed in health care malpractice cases; and requiring a party to file a legally sufficient certificate of a qualified expert and report within 30 days after an arbitration panel chairman or the court rules a certificate or report legally insufficient.

H.B. 924
Establishes the Commission on State-Administered Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance; providing for the composition, chair designation, and staffing of the Commission; prohibits a member of the Commission from receiving compensation; providing that a member of the Commission may receive reimbursement for specified expenses; requires the Commission to consider, make findings, and report on specified measures to provide insurance to specified physicians in the state under the Maryland Tort Claims Act.

S.B. 5
Passed Senate 3/2/11
Requires physicians licensed to practice medicine in the state to notify specified patients in writing and on specified visits of information about medical professional liability insurance coverage; requires that the notification be provided to and signed by a patient at the time of the patient's first visit or at the first visit after the physician's receipt of information and be retained as part of the patient's medical records; requires specified physicians to post information in their place of business.

S.B. 895
Requires counties to provide specified minimum amounts of medical professional liability insurance for specified nonprofit health care providers.

Massachusetts

H.B. 418
Regulates the period of time for the commencement of actions against providers of health care and provides for apologies by medical professionals.

H.B. 421
Regulates the period of time for the commencement of actions against providers of health care and provides for apologies by medical professionals.

H.B. 465
Provides that any health care provider, as defined in §1 of Chapter 111, who provides emergency medical services, first-aid treatment, or other emergency professional care in compliance with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act or as a result of a declared disaster is not liable in damages to any person in a tort action for injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arises from an act or omission of the health care provider’s provision of those services or that treatment or care if that act or omission does not constitute willful or wanton misconduct or a reckless disregard for the consequences so as to affect the life or health of the patient. For the purposes of this section, reckless disregard, as it applies to a given health care provider, means conduct that the provider knew or should have known, at the time those services were rendered, created an unreasonable risk of injury, death, or loss to a person or property so as to affect the life or health or another and that risk was substantially greater than that which is necessary to make the conduct negligent.

H.B. 467
Provides that no physician, physician assistant, or nurse administering immunization or other protective programs under public health programs shall be liable in a civil suit for damages as a result of any act or omission on his part in carrying out his duties. Provides that no physician, physician assistant, or nurse who is registered by the Commonwealth in the Massachusetts System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals or its successor entity shall be liable in civil suit for damages for any act or omission on his part related to his voluntary participation in any disaster preparedness or response activity.

H.B. 488
Relates to the tort liability of hospitals.

H.B. 494
Relates to the admissibility of evidence in judicial or administrative proceeding pertaining to adverse health care management.

H.B. 1211
Relates to medical malpractice insurance policies for certain obstetricians and gynecologists.

H.B. 1300
Relates to medical peer review confidentiality proceedings and medical malpractice damages.

H.B. 1301
Relates to patient safety, medical error reporting and medical malpractice.

H.B. 1302
Regulates the testimony of expert witnesses in medical malpractice court cases.

H.B. 1519
Relates to medical peer review and patient safety.

H.B. 1849
Improves the quality of health care and controlling costs by reforming health systems and payments.

H.B. 2149
Relates to court proceedings and settlements; provides for the distribution of attorney's fees to hospital service corporations and injured individuals in proportion to the amounts received by them from any such settlement or judgment; provides for governing provisions in civil and criminal procedures.

H.B. 2193
Establishes a special commission (including members of the General Court) to study the feasibility of creating a specialized court for purposes of administering medical malpractice claims.

H.B. 2194
Relates to medical malpractice claims, including the use of expert witnesses.

H.B. 2241
Provides that in any action for malpractice, negligence, error, omission, mistake or unauthorized rendering of professional services, other than actions brought under section 2 of Chapter 229, against a provider of health care, in which a verdict is rendered or a finding made or an order for judgment made for pecuniary damages for personal injuries to the plaintiff or for consequential damages, there shall be added by the clerk of the court to the amount of damages interest thereon, at a rate to be determined as set forth below, from the date of the commencement of the action even though such interest brings the amount of the verdict or finding beyond the maximum liability imposed by law. For all actions commenced after the effective date of this act, the rate of interest to be applied by the clerk shall be at a rate equal to the weekly average 1-year constant maturity Treasury yield, as published by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System for the calendar week preceding the date of judgment.

H.B. 2368
Requires a midwife to disclose to a new client whether the licensed midwife carries malpractice or liability insurance.

S.B. 432
Relates to patient care access; provides that the offering of expert testimony in any action for malpractice shall constitute the practice of medicine; requires every insurer or risk management organization which provides insurance to a physician to report certain categories of losses, claims, or actions for damage or personal injury; provides for damages awarded in malpractice claims and interest thereon; provides that liability of each defendant for damages shall be several only and shall not be joint.

S.B. 435
Requires insurers to report malpractice claims or actions for optometrists.

S.B. 479
Relates to the medical professional mutual company.

S.B. 649
Provides that attorney fees for services rendered on behalf of a claimant or defendant in a medical negligence or any other personal injury case shall be fair and reasonable.

S.B. 701
Provides that no physician or nurse administering immunization or other protective programs under public health programs shall be liable in a civil suit for damages as a result of any act or omission on his part in carrying out his duties. Provides that no physician or nurse who is registered by the Commonwealth in the Massachusetts System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals or its successor entity shall be liable in civil suit for damages for any act or omission on his part related to his voluntary participation, or within the course of employment, in any disaster preparedness or response activity.

S.B. 766
Improves patients' access to timely compensation.

S.B. 808
Regulates the period of time for the commencement of actions against providers of health care and provides for apologies by medical professionals.

S.B. 821
Establishes accountability for managed care organizations; defines terms; provides that a carrier or managed care entity for a health care plan shall be liable for damages for harm to an insured under certain circumstances; provides for defenses and exemptions from liability for certain organizations.

S.B. 834
Provides for adverse event reporting, apologies by medical professionals, expert witnesses, damages and the period of time for the commencement of actions against providers of health care.

S.B. 1088
Provides that any health care provider, as defined in §1 of Chapter 111, who provides emergency medical services, first-aid treatment, or other emergency professional care in compliance with the federal Emergency Medical Treatment and Active Labor Act or as a result of a declared disaster is not liable in damages to any person in a tort action for injury, death, or loss to person or property that allegedly arises from an act or omission of the health care provider’s provision of those services or that treatment or care if that act or omission does not constitute willful or wanton misconduct or a reckless disregard for the consequences so as to affect the life or health of the patient.

S.B. 1116
Encourages quality reviews and reduce costs in health care; exempts certain providers and facilities from certain provisions; provides that in any malpractice action against a health care provider, an interest rate shall be imposed on the damages.

S.B. 1155
Relates to public health volunteer responders; provides that a member of any Massachusetts medical reserve corps established pursuant to §300hh-15 of Chapter 42 of the United States Code, and any volunteers affiliated with the MA Responds registration system for public health, health care, and emergency response volunteers shall not be liable in a civil suit for damages as a result of any act or omission on his part in carrying out his duties.

S.B. 1162
Provides that if a registered physician is convicted of three cases of medical malpractice the board shall revoke said physician's registration.

Michigan

H.B. 4350
Signed by governor 7/15/11, Public Act 94
Amends the Public Health Code (MCL 333.16277) (1) to extend civil immunity to charitable organizations that provide referrals to health facilities or health care providers providing uncompensated health care and (2) to exclude certain wages and salaries from consideration as compensation in order to provide immunity for volunteer care provided by health care professionals who work in a health facility such as a hospital or nursing home.

H.B. 4389
Signed by governor 6/7/11, Public Act 55
Amends the Public Health Code to extend to dentists immunity from civil liability granted to physicians practicing under a special volunteer license.

H.B. 4741
Clarifies notice requirements when filing a complaint or settling a claim without filing a complaint with the State Department; relates to Medicaid contracted health plans, no-fault automobile insurance cases, medical malpractice cases and personal injury automobile negligence cases; provides for recovery of medical expenses, attorney fees and costs.

S.B. 191
Requires attorney contingency fees to be based on a sliding scale.

S.B. 876
Requires a physician who performs abortions and meets all of specified criteria to maintain professional liability insurance coverage of not less than a specified amount or to provide equivalent security for the purpose of compensating a woman suffering from abortion complications caused by the gross negligence or malpractice of the physician.

Minnesota

S.F. 432
Reforms medical malpractice liability, including best practices guidelines, damages, attorneys fees and the intentional discriminatory denial of treatment.

Mississippi

H.B. 1202
Died in committee 2/1/11
Provides that a hospital, the attorney of the injured patient, and the injured patient shall have a one-third lien against claims by patients and personal injury damages recovered by patients; requires the lien to be filed in the office of the circuit clerk; requires notice of judgment or award; amends §83-9-47 to provide that a health care provider, the attorney and the client shall have a lien in an amount of one-third of the payment made directly to a patient or policyholder by any third-party payor for the medical care or services rendered by that health care provider.

S.B. 2008
Died in committee 2/1/11
Amends §§11-46-11 and 15-1-36 to clarify the substantive nature of the notice requirements for a person making a claim under the tort claims act or for a person pursuing a medical malpractice claim.

Missouri

H.B. 1014
Beginning January 1, 2012, this bill requires the Chief Justice of the Missouri Supreme Court or his or her designee to establish a five-year pilot project to implement a medical malpractice court in Missouri and to study its effectiveness and feasibility on a statewide basis. One circuit will be selected to implement the project, and one judge in that circuit who has a medical background must be designated as the judge of that medical malpractice court. All medical malpractice cases in that circuit and any other civil cases with extensive medical evidence must be assigned to that judge. The chief justice or his or her designee must submit a report to the governor and General Assembly by February 1, 2018, on the effectiveness of the court and the feasibility of expanding it statewide. The bill specifies the information the report must contain. The bill also removes a provision regarding the limit on the amount of noneconomic damages a plaintiff can recover in an action against a health care provider for personal injury or death due to the rendering of or the failure to render health care services.

S.B. 6
This act provides that any volunteer or retired volunteer licensed physician, dentist, optometrist, pharmacist, registered nurse, licensed practical nurse, advanced practice registered nurse, psychiatrist, psychologist, professional counselor or social worker who provides medical or mental health treatment to a patient at a nonprofit faith-based community health center providing health care services for a nominal fee shall not be liable for any civil damages for acts or omissions unless the damages were occasioned by gross negligence or by willful or wanton acts or omissions by such health care provider.

S.B. 40
This act provides coverage under the state legal expense fund for any licensed doctor, therapist, dentist, podiatrist, optometrist, pharmacist, psychologist, or nurse who is hired on a contract basis to serve as a consultant for the MO HealthNet division or family support division of the Department of Social Services, or to serve as a consultant to the Department of Mental Health. The coverage is limited to a maximum of 500,000 dollars for all claims based upon the same act. If the professionals covered by the state legal expense fund under this act have other liability or malpractice insurance, the state legal expense fund is required to pay before the liability or malpractice insurance is available for paying the claim. The Department of Social Services is required to issue rules regarding the contract procedures and documentation of services for such consultants.

S.B. 149
This act prohibits an expert witness from testifying about the appropriate medical standard of care in a case against a physician alleging improper health care services, unless the witness is a licensed physician and was actively engaged in the clinical practice of medicine and devoting at least three-fourths of their professional time to active clinical practice of substantially the same specialty as the defendant. The court shall not permit an expert in one medical specialty to testify against a physician in another medical specialty, unless the expert shows that both standards of care and practice in the two specialties are substantially the same and the expert has substantial familiarity between the specialties. The act also specifies that a physician licensed in another state who testifies as an expert witness in a lawsuit against a physician alleging improper health care shall be considered to have a temporary license to practice medicine in this state and shall be subject to the authority of the Board of Registration for the Healing Arts notwithstanding provisions of law to the contrary. The act makes evidence inadmissible in cases against physicians alleging improper health care services, if the evidence was obtained under an agreement with a third party who receives a contingency fee for certain actions, or if the medical expert witness has agreed to provide testimony on a contingency fee basis. Medical expert witnesses may have their license disciplined if they provide expert testimony on a contingency fee basis or knowingly provide expert testimony that they know or should have known is false, misleading, or without medical foundation.

S.B. 302
This act subjects Chapter 383 malpractice associations to stricter insurance regulations.

S.B. 346
This act creates the "Medical Harm Disclosure Act" to require reporting of medical harm events. A "medical harm event" is defined as harm to a patient as a result of medical care or in a health care setting including, but not limited to the National Quality Forum's list of Serious Reportable Events. The categories of events are described under the act, but include surgical, anesthesia, medication, product, device, care management or environmental death events. Death of a previously healthy person undergoing medical care is also included.

Montana

H.B. 275
Passed House 2/21/11
Requires that economic consumption be deducted from an award of damages in a medical malpractice action.

H.B. 405
Vetoed by governor 5/10/11
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.

H.B. 408
Vetoed by governor 5/6/11
Changes the statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims from three years to two years.

H.B. 464
Vetoed by governor 4/13/11
Provides that physicians who are board-certified or board-eligible in pediatric or geriatric subspecialties may be liable for damages only upon proof by clear and convincing evidence.

H.B. 531
Vetoed by governor 4/7/11
Revises the civil liability provisions for multiple defendants; clarifies the process for multiple defendants in an action for negligence following the settlement or release from liability of a person.

H.B. 544
Passed House 2/24/11
Requires preabortion screening and counseling; provides definitions; provides penalties; and provides civil remedies for violations as part of the medical negligence law.

H.B. 547
Signed by governor 4/14/11, Chapter 173
Provides insurance coverage for advanced practice registered nurses and registered nurse first assistants in a manner similar to physician assistants; including registered nurse first assistants as providers in health maintenance organizations; requires the board of nursing to specify criteria for a registered nurse first assistant.

S.B. 23
Passed Senate 1/18/11
Requires a licensed direct-entry midwife to inform a woman whether the midwife has current malpractice or professional negligence insurance coverage prior to accepting the woman for care.

Nebraska

L.B. 350
Amends §52-401; changes medical lien provisions and provides personal injury damage suit provisions.

Nevada

A.B. 98
Signed by governor 6/2/11, Chapter 216
Enacts the Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act, which allows a participating state to establish a system whereby medical and veterinary service providers from other states may register to provide volunteer medical and veterinary services in that state in the event of an emergency; allowing a participating state to determine how various licensing, liability and certain other state laws will apply to registered medical and veterinary service providers who provide such volunteer services in a state in which they are not licensed to practice.

A.B. 149
Passed Assembly 4/25/11
Existing law requires a district court to dismiss an action for medical malpractice or dental malpractice if the action is filed without an affidavit of a medical expert that supports the allegations in the action. (NRS 41A.071) This bill authorizes the plaintiff’s attorney in such an action to file the affidavit of a medical expert at a later time under certain circumstances.

S.B. 273
Signed by governor 6/3/11, Chapter 243
Authorizes an osteopathic physician to engage in telemedicine under certain circumstances; authorizes the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine to place any condition, limitation or restriction on a license under certain circumstances; requires the Board to submit to the governor and to the director of the Legislative Counsel Bureau certain reports compiling disciplinary action taken by the Board against physician assistants; revises provisions governing applications for licensure by the Board; revises provisions governing the requirements for licensure by the Board; revises certain provisions relating to the renewal of a license by the Board; revises provisions relating to certain continuing education requirements for licensees; authorizes the Board to prorate the initial license fee for certain licenses; expands the authority of the Board to discipline a physician assistant for certain conduct; revises provisions requiring certain persons to report information relating to certain malpractice claims to the Board; expanding the authority of the Board to investigate a physician assistant for certain conduct; revises provisions governing certain complaints filed with the Board; authorizes the Board summarily to suspend the license of a physician assistant under certain circumstances; authorizes the Board to seek injunctive relief against an osteopathic physician or physician assistant for engaging in certain conduct; provides a penalty.

New Hampshire

H.B. 51
Signed by governor 6/14/11, Chapter 161
This bill clarifies the qualifications required of screening panel members for screening panels for medical injury claims.

H.B. 199
This bill modifies procedures for screening panels for medical injury claims.

H.B. 261
This bill eliminates screening panels for medical injury claims.

H.B. 527
Limits non-economic damages, contingent fees, liability for emergency treatment on scene of the emergency, and wrongful death recoveries. Provides for payment of future damages.

H.J.R. 2
This house joint resolution prohibits the implementation of the insurance department rules regarding the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association.

S.B. 12
Signed by governor 7/13/11, Chapter 241
This bill reestablishes the medical malpractice panel and insurance oversight committee.

S.B. 108
Passed Senate 3/9/11
This bill grants immunity to physicians who render emergency care to pregnant women under certain circumstances.

S.B. 170
Became law without governor’s signature 6/16/11, Chapter 201
This bill declares that the state shall not take or transfer, through taxation or otherwise, any funds now held by the New Hampshire Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association (NHMMJUA). This bill also requires the NHMMJUA, the insurance commissioner, and a representative of NHMMJUA policyholders to jointly approach the Internal Revenue Service to resolve any federal tax liability arising from excess surplus funds.

New Jersey

A.B. 1982
S.B. 760
The bill provides for various revisions to the laws governing lawsuits and insurance coverage for medical malpractice. The bill also provides that a malpractice action against a health care provider shall be commenced within two years after the plaintiff or patient discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the injury, but not more than four years after the date of the alleged act, omission, neglect or occurrence that is the basis of the action, except that in the case in which the allegation of malpractice against the health care provider is that a foreign object has been wrongfully left within a patient’s body, the claim shall be barred unless commenced within one year after the plaintiff or patient discovers, or through the use of reasonable diligence should have discovered, the existence of the foreign object wrongfully left in the patient’s body, whichever first occurs. The bill also revises the requirements for an affidavit by an appropriately licensed person to be provided by a plaintiff in certain negligence and malpractice actions, by further requiring that the affidavit state that the care, skill or knowledge used in the treatment, practice or work that is the subject of the complaint did not meet a commonly recognized reasonable standard of care. In the case of an action for medical malpractice, the affidavit shall further: (1) establish that there was a provider-patient relationship and identify the specific act by the defendant which is the basis for the cause of action against the defendant, or, if there was no provider-patient relationship, identify the specific act by the defendant which is the basis for the cause of action against the defendant; and (2) be based on and refer to objective scientific clinical evidence. The person executing the affidavit shall include in the affidavit a certification, under penalty of perjury, that the patient’s chart and other pertinent information submitted has been personally reviewed. A person shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree if the person purposefully or knowingly makes, or causes to be made, a false, fictitious, fraudulent, or misleading statement of material fact in, or omits a material fact from, or causes a material fact to be omitted from, any such affidavit. The bill also provides that in an action alleging medical malpractice, a person shall not give expert testimony or execute an affidavit pursuant to the provisions of P.L.1995, c.139 (C.2A:53A-26 et seq.) on the appropriate standard of practice or care unless the person is licensed as a physician or other health care professional in New Jersey, as opposed to the current requirement that the physician or professional be licensed in the United States, provided however, that a court may waive the requirement that a person providing testimony as an expert witness be licensed in New Jersey upon sufficient evidence that no person licensed in New Jersey meets the qualifications set forth in section 7 of P.L.2004, c.17 (2A:53A-41). The bill further provides, with respect to medical malpractice actions, that expert testimony shall be based on and reference objective scientific clinical evidence, as defined in the bill. A person testifying as an expert witness in such an action shall be guilty of a crime of the fourth degree, and shall be forever barred from presenting expert testimony in this state if the person purposefully or knowingly makes, or causes to be made, a false, fictitious, fraudulent, or misleading statement of material fact in, or omits a material fact from, or causes a material fact to be omitted from, any expert testimony. The bill also provides that an insurer shall not increase the premium of any medical malpractice liability insurance policy based on a claim of medical negligence or malpractice against an insured unless the claim, as defined in the bill, results in a medical malpractice claim settlement, judgment or arbitration award against the insured. The bill also prohibits an insurer from increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums, if the alleged malpractice occurred in certain charitable or emergency situations. The bill also provides that every claim or demand filed against an insured for damages in excess of $100,000 per occurrence for economic loss and non-economic loss shall document the economic loss for which relief is sought and shall set forth in detail the economic loss incurred at the time the case is subject to a complementary dispute resolution proceeding, at the time settlement negotiations are entered into, or at the time a case is tried, as well as a detailed statement of claimed prospective economic loss resulting from the allegation of medical malpractice, which documentation shall be updated from time to time as necessary and shall be provided to the court, the complementary dispute resolution agent or, in the case of settlement, the defendant, as applicable. The bill also provides, that in every trial in which damages are awarded in an action alleging medical malpractice, the trier of fact shall separately itemize damages awarded for economic loss and damages awarded for non-economic loss and the judge presiding over the proceeding shall review each verdict to determine pursuant to section 9 of P.L.2004, c.17 (C.2A:53A-42), whether the award is clearly inadequate, excessive, or disproportionate in view of the nature of the medical condition or injury that is the cause of action or because of passion or prejudice by the jury. The bill also provides that it shall be presumed that a person who signs an informed consent form or document for a medical procedure or other form of health care has read that form or document. The bill also provides that if an attorney representing a plaintiff in a medical malpractice action files the complaint using fictitious names for one or more persons who may be determined to be parties to the action but whose role is unknown at the time of the filing of the complaint, there shall be no time limitation within which the attorney may substitute the name of any person or persons for a fictitious name nor any other bar to such substitution if the person or persons are subsequently determined to be joined as a party to the action. Finally, the bill provides that a physician licensed to practice medicine in this state shall not be liable for civil damages as a result of any act or omission in connection with the rendering of any treatment or procedure for illness or injury if the treatment or procedure is rendered while the physician is performing the treatment or procedure as a volunteer, in good faith and without consideration, at a clinic, other health care facility, or any other location where the treatment or procedure is being rendered.

A.B. 3739
This bill provides that a licensed health care professional who: cares for or treats a patient at a licensed health care facility (including a federally qualified health care center), or a nonprofit free-standing clinic that is not owned or controlled by a licensed health care facility; and does not bill for, otherwise receive any compensation for, or have any expectation to receive compensation for, the care or treatment provided, shall be immune from civil liability for any personal injury that is a result of the uncompensated care or treatment provided by that professional to the patient. The immunity granted under this bill shall not extend to an act or omission that, by clear and convincing evidence, was the result of gross negligence or willful or wanton misconduct. The bill further provides that, prior to rendering any care or treatment, the health care professional, or his designee, shall inform the patient of the immunity granted pursuant to this bill. The bill defines “licensed health care professional” to mean a person licensed or otherwise authorized pursuant to Title 45 or Title 52 of the Revised Statutes to practice a health care profession that is regulated by the director of the Division of Consumer Affairs in the Department of Law and Public Safety or by a state licensing board, and includes, but is not limited to, physicians, nurses, dentists, physician assistants, psychologists, optometrists, pharmacists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, physical and occupational therapists, audiologists, and marriage and family therapists.

A.B. 3929
This bill shortens the statute of limitations period for malpractice actions against certain licensed persons. Currently, N.J.S.A.2A:14-1 provides that certain civil actions must be brought within six years after the cause of action accrues.  Under the bill, actions for professional malpractice against any of the persons listed below would be required to be brought within two years: Any person who is licensed as: (a) an accountant pursuant to P.L.1997, c.259 (C.45:2B-42 et seq.); (b) an architect pursuant to R.S.45:3-1 et seq.; (c) an attorney admitted to practice law in New Jersey; (d) a dentist pursuant to R.S.45:6-1 et seq.; (e) an engineer pursuant to P.L.1938, c.342 (C.45:8-27 et seq.); (f) a physician in the practice of medicine or surgery pursuant to R.S.45:9-1 et seq.; (g) a podiatrist pursuant to R.S.45:5-1 et seq.; (h) a chiropractor pursuant to P.L.1989, c.153 (C.45:9-41.17 et seq.); (i) a registered professional nurse pursuant to P.L.1947, c.262 (C.45:11-23 et seq.) or an advanced practice nurse pursuant to P.L.1991, c.377 (C.45:11-45 et seq.); (j) a health care facility as defined in section 2 of P.L.1971, c.136 (C.26:2H-2); (k) a physical therapist pursuant to P.L.1983, c.296 (C.45:9-37.11 et seq.); (l) a land surveyor pursuant to P.L.1938, c.342 (C.45:8-27 et seq.); (m) a registered pharmacist pursuant to P.L.2003, c. 280 (C.45:14-40 et seq.); (n) a veterinarian pursuant to R.S. 45:16-1 et seq.; (o) an insurance producer pursuant to P.L.2001, c.210 (C.17:22A-26 et seq.); or (p) a certified midwife, certified professional midwife, or certified nurse midwife  pursuant to R.S.45:10-1 et seq. These persons are also listed in section 1 of P.L.1995, c.139 (C.2A:53A-26) except for advanced practice nurses. P.L.1995, c.139 requires plaintiffs in actions for damages against these professionals to obtain an affidavit from another professional with expertise in the area. The bill also requires actions against contractors, subcontractors or owners as defined in P.L.1993, c.318 (C.2A:44A-2) to be brought within two years. In addition, the bill provides that attorneys’ fees could not be awarded in any action against these professionals except where authorized by statute or the New Jersey Rules of Court.

A.B. 3967
S.B. 2800
The bill revises the law governing lawsuits and insurance coverage for medical malpractice. The bill provides that, notwithstanding any law or rule to the contrary, if an attorney representing a plaintiff in a medical malpractice action files a complaint using fictitious names for one or more persons who may be determined to be parties to the action but whose role is unknown at the time of the filing of the complaint, the attorney shall substitute the name of a person for a fictitious name for any person who may be determined to be a party to the action at least 120 days prior to the date on which the action is set for trial, after which time names of persons shall not be substituted for fictitious names. This bill also provides that a health care professional who volunteers to respond in good faith to an emergency at a hospital or health care facility has immunity for civil damages, if there is no current active provider-patient relationship with the patient. Currently, a health care provider, in order to have the benefit of immunity for such an emergency, could not have had a provider-patient relationship before the emergency, and could not have been provided any consideration for the service rendered. The bill further provides that an insurer shall not increase the premium of any medical malpractice liability insurance policy based on a claim of medical negligence or malpractice against an insured unless the claim, as defined in the bill, results in a medical malpractice claim settlement, judgment or arbitration award against the insured. Finally, the bill also prohibits an insurer from increasing medical malpractice insurance premiums, if the alleged malpractice occurred in certain charitable or emergency situations.

New Mexico

H.B. 267
Vetoed by governor 4/7/11
Relates to medical malpractice; amends the medical malpractice act to change the name of the act, clarifies that business entities providing health care services are health care providers under the act, raises the recoverable limits, creates specific liability and recoverable limits for hospitals, creates the hospital patient's compensation fund and prohibits the disclosure of certain confidential information; makes an appropriation.

H.B. 454
Prohibits risk retention groups from writing malpractice liability insurance.

H.B. 514
Passed House 3/12/11
Encourages reporting of suspected improper quality of patient care; prohibits employer retaliatory action in certain circumstances; provides grievance procedures and penalties.

H.B. 552
Relates to medical malpractice; enacts the hospital liability act; provides liability limits for certain malpractice claims against hospitals, hospital systems and ambulance service providers.

H.B. 590
Amends the medical malpractice act to raise the recoverable limits and to provide a right of action under certain circumstances for injured persons against the patient's compensation fund and insurers; includes injured persons, the patient's compensation fund and insurers under the medical malpractice act within the scope of Chapter 59A, Article 16 NMSA 1978 and the unfair practices act.

S.B. 41
Signed by governor 4/7/11, Chapter 120
Amends a section of the public school insurance authority act to provide for liability insurance coverage for health care student interns.

S.B. 333
Vetoed by governor 4/7/11
Amends the medical malpractice act to clarify that business entities providing health care services are health care providers under the act, to raise the recoverable limits and to prohibit the disclosure of certain confidential information.

S.B. 390
Removes and repeals provisions establishing statutes of limitations for personal injury and medical malpractice.

S.B. 467
Passed Senate 3/18/11
Enacts the dental professional liability act; limits liability; creates the New Mexico Dental-Legal Review Commission; provides for dental-legal review panels; provides hearing procedures.

New York

A.B. 94
Directs the commissioner of health to notify certain patients of record of a physician upon the revocation, annulment, suspension, or surrender of a physician's license for medical misconduct which is not of a minor or technical nature; provides for necessary access to records and for promulgation of rules and regulations.

A.B. 344
S.B. 5153
Provides for a premium reduction for physicians and licensed midwives who complete a risk management strategies in obstetrics course.

A.B. 673
S.B. 5373
Enacts the "adversarial medical examination procedure act"; authorizes adversarial medical examinations and limits any physician-patient relationship resulting from such a medical examination; provides that the person subject to the examination shall have the right to representation.

A.B. 694
Passed Assembly 6/14/11
S.B. 3296
Enacts the "personal healthcare information privacy act"; prohibits interviews of other party's treating physicians or health care providers in personal injury, medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice or wrongful death actions.

A.B. 882
Relates to the payment of medical malpractice insurance premiums and creates the health care access protection fund.

A.B. 1246
S.B. 221
Establishes a central registry of medical personnel terminated for cause.

A.B. 1360
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.

A.B. 1540
Provides for accountability of "health care organizations" (i.e., entities, other than a health care provider, that approve, provide, arrange for or pay for health care services, including a health plan's preferred provider organization): provides that whenever health care organizations delay, fail or refuse to approve, provide, arrange for, or pay for in a timely manner any health care service that it is contractually obligated to provide or cover for a person, it shall be liable for any personal injury, death or damages caused by delay, failure or refusal; provides that an organization shall be liable for acts by an agent, contractor, etc., for which the organization would be liable if the act were committed by the organization; imposes upon all health plans (including workers compensation and casualty insurers) the duty to exercise reasonable care when making decisions that affect the health care service of an enrollee, and in selecting and exerting influence over its employees, agents, etc., who act on its behalf regarding decisions that affect the quality of an enrollee's diagnosis, care or treatment; prohibits organizations from requiring a health care provider to indemnify or hold it harmless for its liability; related provisions.

A.B. 2011
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.

A.B. 2061
Passed Assembly 6/13/11
Provides that an affirmation of a health care practitioner may be served or filed in an action in lieu of and with same force and effect as an affidavit (changes the current reference in existing provisions from "physician, osteopath or dentist" to "health care practitioner").

A.B. 2814
Enacts the New York birth-related neurological injury compensation act; directs the workers' compensation board to determine all claims for compensation for birth-related impairment, and if the injury falls within the defined scope of neurological injuries, direct compensation by the fund, similar to a no fault system.

A.B. 2820
S.B. 3059
Passed Senate 6/14/11
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.

A.B. 3049
Imposes a tax on health maintenance organizations and establishes the medical malpractice relief fund.

A.B. 3728
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.

A.B. 3913
S.B. 1098
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.

A.B. 4009
Substituted 3/30/11
S.B. 2809
Signed by governor 3/31/11, Chapter 59
Enacts into law major components of legislation necessary to implement the health and mental hygiene budget for the 2011-2012 state fiscal year; reforms the Elderly Pharmaceutical Insurance Coverage (EPIC), Early Intervention(EI), and General Public Health Work (GPHW) programs; makes various changes to the Public Health and Social Services Laws necessary to achieve Financial Plan savings; extends and modifies various provisions of the Health Care Reform Act; extends various programs in the Public Health, Social Services and Mental Hygiene Law; relates to Medicaid eligibility by authorizing the suspension, rather than termination, of eligibility for individuals who are served in Institutions for Mental Disease (IMD); eliminates the 2011-2012 Human Services Cost-of-Living Adjustment (COLA) effective April 1, 2011; closes wards in inpatient psychiatric centers, and consolidates facilities.

A.B. 4381
S.B. 3187
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.

A.B. 4483
Enacts the "medical malfeasance accountability act"; 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.

A.B. 4669
Establishes a physicians and surgeons data collection and advisory association to compile physicians and surgeons medical malpractice exposure, loss and expense statistics related to medical malpractice insurance; provides that such advisory association will have a governing body that will charge insurers for services; establishes a medical malpractice insurance fund.

A.B. 4852
S.B. 5242
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.

A.B. 4868
S.B. 2531
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.

A.B. 4909
S.B. 1982
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.

A.B. 5216
Enacts the "medical consumer 'right to know' act"; directs the department of health to annually publish a list of health care providers with five or more medical malpractice judgments, awards and/or settlements during the most recent 10 years.

A.B. 5265
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.

A.B. 5465
Enacting clause stricken 4/20/11
S.B. 2349
Relates to the use of expert medical testimony; creates the health care courts pilot program; creates a new element of professional misconduct for providing expert witness testimony that is without reasonable medical foundation.

A.B. 6253
S.B. 4626
Enacts the "medical malpractice savings act"; directs the commissioner of health to promulgate rules and regulations requiring all facilities with obstetrical programs to establish and implement a comprehensive obstetrics program to reduce medical errors and improve patient outcomes.

A.B. 7396
Relates to funds used for the physician loan repayment program and the regents physicians loan foregiveness 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.

A.B. 8256
S.B. 5440
Provides an exemption for certain stock and non-stock insurance companies; relates to risk-based capital for property and casualty insurance companies; provides for statutory association membership obligations, current premium income, the malpractice insurance association, physician and surgeon surcharge on malpractice insurance premiums and dissolution of such company; requires public notice before promulgation of regulations regarding equitable distribution to authorized medical malpractice insurers.

A.B. 8414
Requires notification on the department of health's Website that all physician information may not be all-inclusive or up-to-date; requires an active link to the Website maintained by the unified court system containing information on active and disposed cases in the local and state courts in the state.

S.B. 581
Enacts the medical malpractice insurance premium credit act; provides a tax credit for a percentage of medical malpractice premiums paid by such taxpayer; defines relevant terms.

S.B. 637
Provides that the personal liability of obstetricians and gynecologists for non-economic and actual economic loss be limited in certain cases to $250,000; establishes impaired infant compensation fund to pay for loss above $250,000 in some cases; provides for payment of medical and other expenses of an "impaired infant."

S.B. 2054
Creates a state board for recredentialing of selected physician specialties and requires all physicians in the state to obtain medical malpractice insurance; exempts retired and teaching physicians.

S.B. 2279
Relates to limiting the amount of awards in medical malpractice lawsuits; limits such awards to the amount of malpractice insurance held by the defendant; establishes the excess medical malpractice liability fund.

S.B. 2444
Enacts the New York birth-related neurological injury compensation act; provides a program whereby families of infants who are neurologically injured at birth would have an option for compensation other than by suing the physician.

S.B. 2445
Amends the public health law to add a new article in relation to establishing the neurological impairment program providing the exclusive remedy for compensation of neurologically-impaired persons born in New York on or after January 1, 2012.

S.B. 2541
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.

S.B. 2569
Requires all physicians licensed or permitted to practice medicine in the state of New York to procure and maintain in full force and effect a policy of medical malpractice insurance with primary levels of coverage at $1 million for each claimant under such policy and $3 million for all claimants under such policy in any one year and excess coverage with similar levels of coverage.

S.B. 2671
Requires the state board for professional medical conduct to initiate a preliminary investigation of physicians against whom a significant number of claims of malpractice have been alleged; establishes a formal process by which certain claims and complaints which allege medical malpractice and professional medical misconduct are forwarded to the department of health for an expedited review and, if necessary, a more intensive investigation.

S.B. 3437
Establishes the health care courts pilot program.

S.B. 4424
Provides for the reporting of medical malpractice to the office of professional medical conduct; requires the court to notify the office of professional misconduct and a physician's place or places of employment upon the filing of a felony complaint against a physician filed in this state; requires the court to notify the office of professional misconduct upon the filing of a misdemeanor complaint against a physician filed in this state.

S.B. 4446
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.

S.B. 4459
Relates to the notice of medical, dental or podiatric malpractice action.

S.B. 4576
Relates to the limitation of non-statutory reimbursement and subrogration.

North Carolina

H.B. 154
Permits introduction of evidence regarding defendants' insurance coverage for liability in any civil action.

H.B. 155
Establishes a comprehensive classification rating plan for professional liability insurance for physicians.

H.B. 542
Signed by governor 6/24/11, Chapter 283
Provides tort reform for North Carolina citizens and businesses; relates to evidence of medical expenses, expert witnesses and award of attorney fees; provides that a possessor of land, including an owner, lessee, or other occupant, does not owe a duty of care to a trespasser and is not subject to liability for any injury to a trespasser.

H.B. 551
Repeals the prohibition of discovery in civil actions of information obtained in peer review proceedings.

H.B. 854
Vetoed by governor 6/27/11
Veto overridden 7/28/11, Chapter 405

S.B. 769
Requires that at least 24 hours prior to the abortion, a physician or qualified professional must orally informed the woman, by telephone or in person whether the physician who is to perform the abortion has no liability insurance for malpractice in the performance or attempted performance of an abortion.

S.B. 33
Vetoed by governor 6/24/11
Veto overridden 7/25/11, Chapter 400
Reforms laws relating to medical liability, money judgment appeals bonds and bifurcation of civil trials; relates to limits on liability, medical records, actions against hospitals, adult care homes and nursing homes; relates to noneconomic damages, action on behalf of a minor for injuries and time limitations; relates to an undertaking required to stay execution of a judgment pending appeal; relates to malpractice action arising out of emergency medical care.

S.B. 349
Requires all optometrists licensed or applying for licensure by the Board to report to the Board: (1) All medical malpractice judgments or awards affecting or involving the optometrist. (2) All settlements in the amount of $75,000 or more related to an incident of alleged medical malpractice affecting or involving the optometrist where the settlement occurred on or after May 1, 2008. (3) All settlements in the aggregate amount of $75,000 or more related to any one incident of alleged medical malpractice affecting or involving the optometrist not already reported pursuant to subdivision (2) of this subsection where, instead of a single payment of $75,000 or more occurring on or after May 1, 2008, there is a series of payments made to the same claimant which, in the aggregate, equal or exceed $75,000. The report required shall contain the following information: (1) The date of the judgment, award, payment, or settlement. (2) The city, state, and country in which the incident occurred that resulted in the judgment, award, payment, or settlement. (3) The date the incident occurred that resulted in the judgment, award, payment, or settlement. Requires the Board to publish on the Board's Web site or other publication information collected under this section. The Board shall publish this information for seven years from the date of the judgment, award, payment, or settlement. The Board shall not release or publish individually identifiable numeric values of the reported judgment, award, payment, or settlement. The Board shall not release or publish the identity of the patient associated with the judgment, award, payment, or settlement. The Board shall allow the optometrist to publish a statement explaining the circumstances that led to the judgment, award, payment, or settlement, and whether the case is under appeal.

S.B. 642
Establishes the North Carolina Medical Malpractice Review Board.

S.B. 743
Signed by governor 6/27/11, Chapter 355
Encourages the provision of medical services to indigent persons by providing for a retired limited volunteer license and by broadening the applicability of a limited volunteer license and by limiting liability for nonprofit community health referral services.

North Dakota
none
Ohio
none
Oklahoma

H.B. 1209
Signed by governor 4/26/11, Chapter 113
Relates to amusements and sports; provides limited malpractice protection for certain physicians.

H.B. 1563
Relates to torts; relates to access to medical records; clarifies language.

H.B. 1774
Relates to lawsuit reform; relates to the Affordable Access to Health Care Act; modifies recovery limitation on certain noneconomic damages.

H.B. 2128
Signed by governor 4/5/11, Chapter 14
Relates to damages; relates to limitations on damages for bodily injury; modifies recovery limitation on certain noneconomic damages; modifies conditions for removal of limitation; eliminates establishment of a Health Care Indemnity Fund; provides scope of application.

S.B. 470
Relates to torts; relates to medical malpractice; relates to limitations of actions; clarifies reference.

S.B. 471
Relates to torts; relates to medical malpractice; relates to limitations of actions; clarifies reference.

S.B. 472
Relates to torts; relates to medical malpractice; relates to limitations of actions; clarifies reference.

S.B. 473
Relates to torts; relates to medical malpractice; relates to limitations of actions; clarifies reference.

S.B. 574
Signed by governor 5/18/11, Chapter 262
Relates to the practice of dentistry; relate to the State Dental Act; requires faculty permit holders to show certain proof; modifies list of acts by a dentist which constitute grounds for penalties by Board of Dentistry; modifies requirements of laboratory prescriptions issued by a dentist; requires Board to make certain forms readily available; permits dentists to produce, transfer and retain certain copies electronically; permits to Board to collect certain fees; relates to malpractice insurance.

S.B. 714
Relates to torts; relates to limitations of actions; clarifies reference.

S.B. 715
Relates to torts; relates to limitations of actions; clarifies reference.

S.B. 814
Relates to health care provider liability; defines terms; extends liability protection to certain physicians and health care providers under certain circumstances.

S.B. 863
Passed Senate 2/28/11
Relates to compensation for noneconomic damages; relates to the Health Care Indemnity Fund Task Force.

S.B. 866
Passed Senate 3/3/11
Relates to compensation for future damages; defines terms; states applicability of provisions; provides for periodic payment of certain damages; requires court to make specific findings; states result of entry of certain order; requires evidence of financial responsibility for certain defendants; requires certain order upon termination of periodic payments; provides procedures upon death of recipient of periodic payments.

Oregon

H.B. 2380
Signed by governor 8/2/11, Chapter 650
Makes certain data discovered during peer review of licensed direct entry midwife inadmissible. Prohibits person from bringing cause of action against licensed physician or hospital for injuries to patient resulting from care provided by direct entry midwife not at hospital. Requires Center of Health Statistics to collect and report data on all birth and fetal deaths occurring in Oregon. Increases, for biennium beginning July 1, 2011, limitation on expenditures from fees, moneys and other revenues, including Miscellaneous Receipts, but excluding lottery funds and federal funds, collected or received by Oregon Health Authority for purpose of collecting and reporting data.

H.B. 3139
Provides immunity from liability under certain circumstances for pharmacists and optometrists providing services without compensation.

H.B. 3228
Limits noneconomic damages in claims against health care providers based on provision of medical care or failure to provide medical care. Provides that limit is $500,000 for claims arising in calendar year 2011. Provides for adjustment based on cost of living in subsequent calendar years.

H.B. 3232
Provides civil immunity for person providing medical, dental or outreach services to homeless individuals if person has registered as volunteer with nonprofit corporation and services are provided without compensation. Excludes intentional torts and acts or omissions constituting gross negligence.

H.B. 3519
Prohibits commencement of civil action against health care provider until after submission of health care claim to medical legal panel. Establishes membership and procedures for medical legal panels. Requires disclosure of identity of expert witness and summary of expert's opinion in health care claims. Provides that findings of medical legal panels are not admissible in subsequent proceedings. Provides that records and hearings of medical legal panels are not subject to public disclosure. Provides that costs of medical legal panels be paid by surcharges on health care providers. Establishes Medical Legal Panel Fund. Continuously appropriates moneys in fund to chief justice of Supreme Court for payment of costs of medical legal panels.

H.B. 3662
Expands immunity from liability for health care provider who provides services for charitable organization without compensation. Provides immunity from liability for person providing outreach services, without compensation, to homeless individuals or individuals at risk of becoming homeless individuals under certain circumstances. Provides immunity from liability for pharmacists and optometrists providing services without compensation under certain circumstances.

S.B. 95
Signed by governor 5/16/11, Chapter 30
Requires insurer to defend claim of malpractice if claim is based on disclosure of adverse event by health practitioner to patient or patient's family. Applies to insurance policies issued or renewed on or after effective date of Act. Authorizes Oregon Patient Safety Commission to include any serious adverse event on list of reportable events. Requires commission to collaborate with providers of ambulatory health care for purposes related to patient safety. Specifies that health care institution, health care facility or other entity that employs licensee of Oregon Medical Board is not admitting liability when institution, facility or other entity expresses regret or apologizes.

S.B. 283
Requires entry of judgment with installment payments in medical liability actions in which $100,000 or more is awarded for losses that will be incurred by plaintiff after entry of judgment. Modifies law governing liability of individual tortfeasors when more than one tortfeasor is liable for injury, death or property damage. Eliminates reallocation of liability between tortfeasors when court determines that all or part of tortfeasor's share of obligation is uncollectible. Imposes qualifications for expert witnesses in civil actions for medical liability actions. Provides that if offer of compromise in civil action is not accepted, and party asserting claim in action fails to obtain judgment more favorable than offer of compromise, court must award prevailing party fees and attorney fees incurred after service of offer.

S.B. 374
Extends reinsurance program for medical professional liability insurance policies provided by State Accident Insurance Fund Corporation for one year. Requires Director of Department of Consumer and Business Services to report on performance of program to 76th Legislative Assembly.

S.B. 608
Signed by governor 6/28/11, Chapter 560
Establishes program to provide payments to insurers to subsidize the cost of medical professional liability insurance premiums paid by certain health practitioners located in underserved rural communities. Establishes criteria for participation in program and subsidy amounts. Establishes Rural Medical Liability Subsidy Fund. Requires biennial report to Legislative Assembly on performance of program.

S.J.R. 5
Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to impose limitation on noneconomic damages in claims against health care providers based on provision of medical care or failure to provide medical care. Provides that limit is $500,000 for claims arising in calendar year 2011. Provides for adjustment based on cost of living in subsequent calendar years.

S.J.R. 33
Proposes amendment to Oregon Constitution to impose limitation on damages in claims against health care providers based on provision of medical care or failure to provide medical care. Provides for adjustment based on cost of living in subsequent calendar years.

Pennsylvania

H.B. 182
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.

H.B. 184
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.

H.B. 228
Provides for quality health care management system discount; imposes duties on the Department of Health; and provides for penalties.

H.B. 299
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 medical professional liability actions.

H.B. 301
This joint resolution 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.

H.B. 711
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 providing for medical professional liability insurance, for basic coverage limits, for Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund liability limits and for extended claims.

H.B. 913
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 insurance, further providing for the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund.

H.B. 914
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 insurance, further providing for the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund.

H.B. 1280
Amends the Acupuncture Registration Act; provides for medical diagnosis; provides for liability insurance.

H.B. 1358
Amends the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act in insurance; provides for the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund.

H.B. 1620
Amends the act of March 20, 2002 (P.L.154, No.13), known as the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (Mcare) Act; defines "health care provider"; provides for punitive damages.

H.B. 1907
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 providing for punitive damages.

H.B. 1928
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 providing for medical facility reports and notifications, for definitions and for penalties; and providing for abortion facilities.

H.B. 1961
Amends the act of December 4, 1996 (P.L.893, No.141), known as the Volunteer Health Services Act, further providing for purpose, for definitions and for liability.

H.R. 110
Directs the Legislative Budget and Finance Committee to conduct a study of the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund administered by the Insurance Department.

S.B. 23
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 insurance, further providing for medical professional liability insurance.

S.B. 24
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 insurance, further providing for Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund.

S.B. 219
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 providing for medical professional liability insurance, for the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund; and establishing the Health Care Provider Rate Stabilization Fund.

S.B. 388
Passed Senate 6/21/11
Amends the act of May 1, 1933 (P.L.216, No.76), known as The Dental Law, providing for professional liability insurance.

S.B. 569
Amends the act of December 4, 1996 (P.L.893, No.141), known as the Volunteer Health Services Act, further providing for purpose, for the definition of "volunteer license" and for liability.

S.B. 628
Amends the act of February 14, 1986 (P.L.2, No.2), known as the Acupuncture Registration Act, further providing for medical diagnosis; and providing for liability insurance.

S.B. 660
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 providing for department responsibilities and for medical facility reports and notifications.

S.B. 739
Amends the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act; establishes the MCARE Commission.

S.B. 811
Amends the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act; provides for medical professional liability insurance, for Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund and for actuarial data; provides for conflict.

S.B. 880
Amends the Judiciary and Judicial Procedure Code; 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.

S.B. 902
Amends the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (MCARE) Act; provides for the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error Fund.

S.B. 936
Amends the act of May 22, 1951, known as The Professional Nursing Law; provides for certified registered nurse anesthetist, certification requirements, qualifications, renewal of certification, standards of practice and for professional liability.

S.B. 999
Amends the Medical Care Availability and Reduction of Error (Mcare) Act; provides for mandatory arbitration.

S.B. 1131
Signed by governor 6/28/11, Act 17
Amends Title 42 (Judiciary and Judicial Procedure) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in general provisions relating to civil actions and proceedings; amends provisions relating to comparative negligence; provides for damages and liability in cases involving a release or threatened release of a hazardous substance; relates to a civil action in which a defendant has violated the Liquor Code as regards minors; provides for joint and several liability.

S.B. 1256
Amends the act of December 4, 1996 (P.L.893, No.141), known as the Volunteer Health Services Act, further providing for purpose, for definitions and for liability.

Puerto Rico

H.B. 2534
Signed by governor 6/27/11, Law 104
Amends the Insurance Code to provide that all health care professionals that provide medical services to patients of the State Insurance Fund shall be exempt from lawsuits and that the risk shall fall on the State Insurance Fund.

H.B. 3398
Amends Act 201 of 2003, known as the Judiciary Act of 2003; secures a Special Chamber in the Medical Malpractice in the 13 judicial regions of the Court of First Instance.

H.B. 3453
Establishes the Fund for Victims of Medical Malpractice and Hospital Special Procedures Civil Actions Medical Malpractice Hospital, to create a fund, under the Administration of the Government Development Bank, nourished by the contributions made by health professionals and health care institutions, to supplement those judgments awarded by medical negligence and hospitals; creates the Board Evaluation of the Fund for Victims of Medical Malpractice.

S.B. 306
Signed by governor 6/27/11, Law 103
Amends existing law to include the Academic Medical Center of Puerto Rico within the limits of liability for malpractice, including hospital doctor malpractice, which is subject to the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico.

S.B. 1854
Signed by governor 4/8/11, Law 57
Amends the Law of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline; gives the investigating officer the power to hire experts; imposes a summary suspension in cases where notification to the Board is final and a binding decision where it is determined that there was gross negligence by a doctor, hospital or medical institution when necessary to prevent harm to public health and safety; establishes a procedure to investigate incompetent doctors.

S.B. 2170
Passed Senate 11/10/11
Amends Act 220 of 2009 known as the Rules of Civil Procedure of Puerto Rico; establishes that at 45 days of a medical malpractice claim by the complaining party to submit preliminary expert testimony in writing to the party sought to substantiate the allegation or allegations of negligence or medical and hospital malpractice.

S.B. 2171
Passed Senate 11/10/11
Amends Act 77 of 1957 known as the Insurance Code; increases the financial responsibility limits apply to specialized health professionals in practice or high-risk specialties; amends Act 1 of 2011 known as the Internal Revenue Code for the purpose of providing a incentive to doctors, osteopaths, dentists or podiatrists who purchase coverage.

S.B. 2172
Passed Senate 11/10/11
Amends the Internal Revenue Code of Puerto Rico 1994; provides an incentive to doctors, osteopaths, dentists or podiatrists who purchase coverage under a medical professional liability insurance in excess of the limits required by Article 41.050 of the Insurance Code of Puerto Rico; identifies the incentive to be an additional deduction equal to 100 percent of premiums paid for this excess coverage.

S.B. 2173
Passed Senate 11/10/11
Amends the Law of the Judiciary of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico 2003; adds a paragraph to establish a provision of law that the courts appoint special chambers to deal with cases of negligence or medical malpractice and hospitals.

S.B. 2195
Establishes the Fund for Victims of Medical Malpractice and Hospital Special Procedures Civil Actions Medical Malpractice Hospital to create a fund, under the Administration of the Government Development Bank nourished by the contributions from health professionals and health care institutions and in order to supplement judgments awarded by medical negligence and hospital in Puerto Rico in which you cannot answer the doctor nor the hospital.

S.B. 2344
Amends Law 77 of 1957 on the Insurance Code for the purposes of including the San Antonio Hospital of Mayaguez within the limits of liability for civil malpractice that is subject to the Government of Puerto Rico.

S.R. 2151
Directs the Senate Committee on Government to investigate possible illegal or unethical activities related to medical malpractice.

S.R. 2413
Orders the Senate Committee on Banking, Consumer Affairs and Public Corporations to conduct research on brokers and insurance companies with respect to medical malpractice that do business in Puerto Rico, especially but not limited to, those working or surplus lines and policies in the business of medical malpractice.

Rhode Island

H.B. 5176
This act creates an act to encourage the volunteer efforts of retired physicians, nurse practitioners and dentists at free health clinics by excluding such retired professionals from the state licensure fee applicable to licensed practicing physicians, nurse practitioners and dentists, and by creating a pilot grant program to provide liability malpractice insurance to such individuals who provide a minimum of 100 hours of volunteer health services a year at such free health clinics.

H.B. 5637
This act requires a list of all settlements or judgments against all licensed health care professionals and nursing homes be reported to the director of health. It also provides parameters within which the director of health may establish regulations for malpractice minimums.

H.B. 5638
Signed by governor 7/12/11, Chapter 305
Adds entities other than insurers that provide professional liability coverage to healthcare professionals to file the annual reports regarding medical malpractice claims as are currently filed by insurers.

H.B. 5791
This act exempts any medical malpractice insurance joint underwriters association from having to pay an annual tax of two percent of its gross premiums on contracts of insurance.

S.B. 299
Signed by governor 7/1/11, Chapter 216
This act adds entities other than insurers that provide professional liability coverage to healthcare professionals to file the annual reports regarding medical malpractice claims as are currently filed by insurers.

South Carolina

H.B. 3402
Amends §40-47-35, relating to medical expert witnesses, so as to enact the "medical malpractice expert testimony act", and to provide an individual not licensed to practice medicine in South Carolina who provides expert medical witness testimony in an administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding in this state must be subject to the jurisdiction of the board of medical examiners as if fully licensed as a medical expert witness.

H.B. 3477
Amends §40-47-35, relating to medical expert witnesses, so as to enact the "medical malpractice expert testimony act of 2011", to delete existing language concerning the licensure of an expert medical witness and the ability of the board of medical examiners to waive a related fee, and to provide an individual not licensed to practice medicine in South Carolina who provides expert medical witness testimony in an administrative, civil, or criminal proceeding in this state must be subject to the jurisdiction of the board of medical examiners as if fully licensed as a medical expert witness.

H.B. 4008
Adds §44-7-390 so as to provide that there is no monetary liability, and no cause of action is created, by a hospital undertaking or performing certain acts if not done with malice; adds §44-7-392 so as to provide that certain hospital proceedings and data, documents, records, and information resulting from these proceedings are confidential and not subject to discovery or subpoena and may not be used as evidence in a civil action unless the hospital has waived confidentiality or the data, documents, records, or information are otherwise available and subject to discovery; provides that the outcome of a practitioner's application for hospital staff membership or clinical privileges is not confidential but that the application and supporting documents are confidential; provides that disclosure of certain information by a hospital through reports to the department of health and environmental control, the joint commission, or the board of medical examiners is not a waiver of any privilege or confidentiality; and to provide that an affected person may file an action to assert a claim of confidentiality and to enjoin the hospital, the joint commission, or the board of medical examiners from releasing such information, and if the court finds that the person acted unreasonably in asserting this claim, the court shall assess attorney's fees against that person; adds §44-7-394 so as to provide that if in a judicial proceeding the court finds documents, over which the hospital asserted a claim of confidentiality, are not subject to confidentiality and that the hospital acted unreasonably in asserting this claim, the court shall assess attorney's fees against the hospital for costs incurred by the requesting party to obtain the documents; and amends §40-71-10, relating to the exemption from tort liability for members of certain professional committees, so as to delete from the exemption an appointed member of a committee of a medical staff of a hospital if the staff operates pursuant to written bylaws approved by the governing board of the hospital.

S.B. 771
Adds §44-7-390 so as to provide that there is no monetary liability, and no cause of action is created, by a hospital undertaking or performing certain acts if not done with malice; adds §44-7-392 so as to provide that certain hospital proceedings and data, documents, records, and information resulting from these proceedings are confidential and not subject to discovery or subpoena and may not be used as evidence in a civil action unless the hospital has waived confidentiality or the data, documents, records, or information are otherwise available and subject to discovery; provides that the outcome of a practitioner's application for hospital staff membership or clinical privileges is not confidential but that the application and supporting documents are confidential; provides that disclosure of certain information by a hospital through reports to the department of health and environmental control, the joint commission, or the board of medical examiners is not a waiver of any privilege or confidentiality; and to provide that an affected person may file an action to assert a claim of confidentiality and to enjoin the hospital, the joint commission, or the board of medical examiners from releasing such information, and if the court finds that the person acted unreasonably in asserting this claim, the court shall assess attorney's fees against that person; adds §44-7-394 so as to provide that if in a judicial proceeding the court finds documents, over which the hospital asserted a claim of confidentiality, are not subject to confidentiality and that the hospital acted unreasonably in asserting this claim, the court shall assess attorney's fees against the hospital for costs incurred by the requesting party to obtain the documents; and amends §40-71-10, relating to the exemption from tort liability for members of certain professional committees, so as to delete from the exemption an appointed member of a committee of a medical staff of a hospital if the staff operates pursuant to written bylaws approved by the governing board of the hospital.

South Dakota
none
Tennessee

H.B. 174
S.B. 360
Establishes new requirements for medical malpractice actions in an emergency department of a hospital.

H.B. 286
S.B. 238
Enacts the “Jobs Creation Lawsuit Reform Act.”

H.B. 363
S.B. 386
Enacts the “Jobs Creation Lawsuit Reform Act.”

H.B. 568
Substituted 4/11/11
S.B. 510
Signed by governor 4/25/11, Public Chapter 112
Requires counsel for claimants reporting to the commissioner regarding medical malpractice claims to include information as to whether the health care provider received payment from TennCare; requires the commissioner to include such information in the annual report on medical malpractice claims.

H.B. 1157
S.B. 694
Prohibits recovery in a medical malpractice case for negligent diagnosis or treatment that decreases a patient's chances of avoiding death or any other adverse medical condition when the death or other adverse medical condition would have occurred even if the defendant had not been negligent.

H.B. 1158
Substituted 3/28/11
S.B. 484
Signed by governor 4/12/11, Public Chapter 67
Enacts the "Tennessee Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2011."

H.B. 1172
Signed by governor 6/1/11, Public Chapter 369
S.B. 1942
Substituted 5/18/11
Prohibits a health care institution that treats drug abuse patients from being held liable for any damages resulting from the introduction of harmful substances into an indwelling catheter placed in the patient, provided that the health care institution informs the patient of such immunity.

H.B. 1640
S.B. 101
Provides that tort actions brought against a nursing home, home for the aged or assisted-living facility based upon the provision of health care services is a medical malpractice action and is governed by the provisions of Title 29, Chapter 26.

H.B. 1848
S.B. 1322
Creates an advisory council that shall study the potential impact of tort reform measures on anticompetitive activities engaged in by hospitals, insurance companies and health care professionals and whether or not such impact, if any, would increase or decrease the overall cost of healthcare in this state.

H.B. 1976
S.B. 1323
Establishes requirements for skilled nursing facility liability actions.

H.B. 2008
Signed by governor 6/16/11, Public Chapter 510
S.B. 1522
Enacts the "Tennessee Civil Justice Act of 2011."

Texas

H.B. 2452
Amends the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code, Section 1, Subchapter A, Chapter 74, by requiring a health care institution owned or operated by the state or subdivision of the state, including a hospital district, provide written notice to the individual being treated disclosing; the liability limits applicable to a health care liability claim against the institution; the liability limits applicable to a health care liability claim against a private institution; whether a physician or health care provider is covered by malpractice insurance or another form of financial responsibility and the amounts of that responsibility if any.

H.B. 2800
Relates to the liability of a midwife in the practice of midwifery.

S.B. 425
Signed by governor 6/17/11
Relates to property and casualty certificates of insurance, approval by the department of insurance and penalties for violations; includes a reciprocal or interinsurance exchange, a risk retention group, the Medical Liability Insurance Joint Underwriting Association, the Texas Windstorm Insurance Association, surplus lines and the FAIR plan for homeowner's insurance; provides for prohibited acts that alter coverage or terms; requires notice of cancellation.

S.B. 1545
Signed by governor 6/17/11
Amends current law relating to the liability of a volunteer health care practitioner who conducts a physical examination or medical screening of a student athlete.

Utah

S.B. 150
Signed by governor 3/30/11, Chapter 430
This bill provides that a medical malpractice cause of action based on negligent credentialing will not be recognized in this state.

Vermont

H.B. 92
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.

H.B. 202
Signed by governor 5/26/11, Act 48
This act creates Green Mountain Care, a publicly financed health care program designed to contain costs and to provide comprehensive, affordable, high-quality health care coverage for all Vermont residents. The act sets out 14 principles as a framework for reforming health care in Vermont and expands the list of Vermont's ongoing health care reform efforts. It requires the creation of a strategic plan for health care reform, a proposal on medical malpractice reform, a work plan for the newly created Green Mountain Care board, and several other reports and proposals to be submitted to the General Assembly.

H.B. 222
This bill proposes to establish a system of mandatory arbitration for medical malpractice claims.

H.B. 266
This bill establishes screening panels for medical injury claims.

Virginia

H.B. 1459
Signed by governor 4/6/11, Chapter 758
S.B. 771
Signed by governor 4/6/11, Chapter 759
Increases from $2 million to $2.05 million, on July 1, 2012, the cap on the recovery in actions against health care providers for medical malpractice. Thereafter, the cap is increased by $50,000 annually with the last increase on July 1, 2031.

H.B. 2170
Signed by governor 3/14/11, Chapter 84
Prohibits the Workers' Compensation Commission from awarding attorney fees incurred in opposing a claimant's admission to the Birth-Related Neurological Injury Compensation Program. The measure also prohibits the award of attorney's fees and expenses incurred by any physician, hospital, or nurse midwife that is a party to a proceeding regarding admission to the Program, or their medical malpractice carrier, in a proceeding involving a birth-related neurological injury claim. The prohibitions on paying expenses do not apply to certain photocopying costs or compensation of the office of the attorney general.

H.B. 2229
Signed by governor 4/6/11, Chapter 808
Changes the requirement for assessing physicians who have had three medical malpractice judgments or claims in a 10-year period so that it only affects actively practicing physicians. The bill also changes the amount required to trigger the assessment from $10,000 to $75,000 and allows the Board of Medicine to post the number of assessments done on its website, rather than through a report to the General Assembly.

H.B. 2373
Signed by governor 2/25/11, Chapter 15
S.B. 1469
Signed by governor 3/28/11, Chapter 753
Provides that nothing in the statute governing privileged communications of certain health committees shall be construed as providing any privilege to any health care provider, emergency medical services agency, community services board, or behavioral health authority with respect to any factual information regarding specific patient health care or treatment, including patient health care incidents, whether oral, electronic, or written. However, the analysis, findings, conclusions, recommendations, and the deliberative process of any medical staff committee, utilization review committee, or other committee, board, group, commission, or other entity, as well as the proceedings, minutes, records, and reports, including the opinions and reports of experts, of such entities shall be privileged in their entirety under the aforementioned statute.

H.B. 2377
Incorporated into H.B. 2373 1/31/11
Provides that factual information, whether written or oral, regarding specific patient care and treatment, including patient care incidents occurring within a health care facility, are not subject to the privilege granted to certain committees and entities. Currently, oral communications regarding a specific incident regarding patient care are privileged if made more than 24 hours after the incident. The bill also provides that the privilege enjoyed by such committees and entities applies only to communications originating with them and not communications provided to them. The bill also provides that reports of patient safety data in possession of a patient safety organization are discoverable if the reports are made available or required to be made available to health regulatory boards or other agencies by state or federal law. The bill further provides that the policies and procedures of such organizations and entities are not privileged and may be admissible in civil, criminal, or administrative hearings.

S.B. 1330
Stricken 1/31/11
Changes from 10 business days to 21 days the number of days after receipt of written request of a defendant in which the plaintiff must provide the defendant with a certification form that affirms that the plaintiff had obtained the necessary certifying expert opinion at the time service was requested or affirms that the plaintiff did not need to obtain a certifying expert witness opinion. The bill further provides that this certification form is not necessary if the complaint, counter claim, or third party claim contains the foregoing affirmation.

Washington

H.B. 1360
S.B. 5672
Provides for health care liability reform by addressing joint and several liability, noneconomic damages, statute of limitations, attorneys' fees upon summary judgment dismissal, promoting periodic payments of future damages, and encouraging early settlement offers. Requires the department of health, in consultation with the department of revenue, to develop a program to provide business and occupation tax credits for physicians who serve uninsured, Medicare, and Medicaid patients in a private practice or a reduced fee access program for the uninsured.

West Virginia

H.B. 2336
Provides limited immunity from civil damages for persons who volunteer their services to public health departments; and provides that the limitation of liability does not apply to intentional tortious conduct or acts or omissions constituting gross negligence.

H.B. 3127
Increases the fees charged by the clerk of the circuit court for medical professional liability actions.

S.B. 428
Signed by governor 3/31/11, Chapter 35
Increases the fees charged by the clerk of the circuit court for medical professional liability actions.

Wisconsin

A.B. 1, Special Session
Laid on table 1/20/11
This bill makes several changes to current law regarding civil actions for negligence in long-term care facilities product liability, actions in strict liability, punitive damage awards, and awards for defending a frivolous lawsuit. The bill also makes changes regarding the confidentially and use of reviews and evaluations of health care providers and regarding criminal liability for certain acts or omissions by health care providers.

S.B. 1, Special Session
Signed by governor 1/27/11, Act 2
Relates to: limiting noneconomic damages awarded in actions against long-term care providers; actions against manufacturers, distributors, sellers, and promoters of certain products; confidentiality of health care services reviews; use as evidence of information regarding health care providers; reporting of quality indicators identifying individual hospitals; homicide or injury by negligent handling of a dangerous weapon, explosives, or fire; criminal abuse of individuals at risk; criminal abuse and neglect of patients and residents; evidence of lay and expert witnesses; damages for frivolous claims; and punitive damage awards.

Wyoming

H.B. 209
Signed by governor 3/3/11, Chapter 138
Provides for a limitation of liability for emergency medical review organizations and the department of health as specified.

H.B. 213
Relates to medical malpractice liability; creates the Wyoming excess liability account; specifies legislative findings and purposes; provides definitions; specifies requirements; specifies duties of the attorney general; provides for reports; provides for investment of monies from the account; authorizes corresponding modifications in medical malpractice liability insurance policies.

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