Legislative Updates

Medical Liability Reform Bill

POSTED IN: Legislative Updates,

On Wednesday, the House narrowly approved the ACEP-supported “Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017” (H.R. 1215). H.R. 1215 would apply to health care lawsuits where coverage was provided or subsidized by the federal government, including through a subsidy or tax benefit, and would not preempt certain state laws or federal vaccine injury laws. It would also limit non-economic damages to $250,000, restrict attorney contingency fees, establishes a three-year statute of limitations after the injury (or one year after the claimant discovers the injury), repeal collateral source rules, allow periodic payments of future damage awards, and prevent health care providers who prescribe or dispense an FDA-approved product from being party to a product liability or class-action lawsuit, among other things. The vote passed 218 to 210 (along party lines with 19 Republicans voting no). The Republican opposition was based mainly on their belief that this type of medical liability bill is within the jurisdiction of the states.