By Jacqueline Pitts, The Bottom Line
Medical review panel legislation on Friday saw final passage and is headed to the governor’s desk after the Kentucky state Senate concurred with the final version of Senate Bill 4.
The medical review panels seek to address the costs directly attributed to Kentucky’s medical liability climate, an issue of concern for Kentucky employers and taxpayers who foot the bill in terms of direct employee benefit costs and higher taxes.
“Passage of medical review panels is an important first step in reforming Kentucky’s legal climate,” Sarah Davasher-Wisdom, COO of Greater Louisville Inc., said. “Medical review panels will cut down on frivolous lawsuits and lower malpractice insurance costs. This will help us attract health care providers, thereby improving access to care. This is a win for business and healthcare in the Commonwealth.”
Senate Bill 4, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Alvarado, would put a panel of three doctors — one picked by each side of the case and a third chosen by the other two doctors — to examine the evidence of the case and give an expert review before the case goes to court.
Alvarado said medical review panels add a layer of accountability to the process and does not block access to the courts for anyone. The Kentucky doctor also said the state is having a hard time recruiting talented physicians because of the legal liability climate.
Learn more about medical review panels here.
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