The Medical Malpractice Non Economic Damage ($350,000) was passed out of the House Thursday with 101 votes. 82 votes were needed and 109 votes would be needed in the event the bill passes and the Governor vetoes the bill.
The Senate will have “Tort Week(s)” for the next two weeks and the senate version of the Med Mal bill will be debated. This is a different version than the House version, in that it established a two tier cap. A higher cap for wrongful death and other catastrophic events ($700,000) and a lower cap for all other med mal cases at $400,000.
The logical question is; why not pass the House version containing the $350,000 cap. The reason is unfortunately simple, we can not get that version to a vote in the Senate.
The APRN proposal to include Schedule II prescribing in their scope of practice was heard, but will likely not make it out of committee, unless it is limited to only hydrocodone products, which they prescribed prior to its reclassification.
Finally, the “Observational Status” legislation, which requires the hospital to notify patients of their inpatient or observational status on a timely basis was heard in the Senate. We have language drafted to attach to this bill which would alleviate the ED Physician from this duty, and place that responsibility with the hospital admission staff.