WASHINGTON, Feb. 24, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Health Coalition on Liability and Access today announced its support of the Protecting Access to Care Act, a comprehensive medical liability reform bill introduced by Representative Steve King (R-IA).
The Protecting Access to Care Act, H.R. 1215, is modeled after proven reforms already in place in Texas, California, and many other states around the country that have had a positive effect on increasing access to care and keeping health care costs affordable for patients and physicians.
The bill ensures full and unlimited recovery of economic damages in cases of medical negligence, allowing for payment of past and future medical expenses, lost wages, rehabilitation costs, and other out-of-pocket expenses. The legislation also permits the additional recovery of up to $250,000 for non-economic damages, such as damages awarded for pain and suffering.
By enacting a reasonable statute of limitations for filing lawsuits, and limiting attorney fees, the bill will ensure a speedier resolution to claims and that damage awards go to deserving patients – not personal injury lawyers. It also protects states' rights by preserving their existing or future liability reforms.
According to the Congressional Budget Office, the comprehensive medical liability reforms included in the Protecting Access to Care Act would lead to cost savings of $55 billion over the 2017-2026 period for federal health care programs such as Medicare and Medicaid and reduce our national deficit by almost $62 billion over the same 10-year period.
"I am encouraged by the fact that Congress has made comprehensive medical liability reform a priority this year, with a focus on increasing access to care and reining in sky-high federal health care spending," said HCLA Chair Mike Stinson. "The HCLA will continue to work towards a bipartisan solution to fixing our broken medical liability system that reduces medical lawsuit abuse and provides a path for deserving patients to be compensated quickly and fairly."
The bill is expected to be considered by the full House Judiciary Committee within the next week.
For more details, visit www.hcla.org. The Health Coalition on Liability and Access is a national advocacy coalition representing physicians, hospitals, health care liability insurers, employers, health care providers and consumers. HCLA believes federal legislation is needed to bring fairness, timeliness and cost-effectiveness to America's medical liability system.
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SOURCE Health Coalition on Liability and Access