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Medical Malpractice Reforms Could Be Hurting Patients

Posted on in Personal Injury

Recent reforms to medical malpractice laws may be putting patients’safety at risk. H.R. 1215, or “Protecting Access to Health Care Act 2017,” was passed in the U.S. House of Representatives in June2017. The bill affects those who receive federally subsidized health care,and prevents them from holding medical providers, nursing homes, and pharmaceutical companies accountable for any harm they have caused due to negligence.

Additionally, the bill caps non economic damages at $250,000, while forbidd ingjuries from being informed of this limitation. The bill further outlines that payouts for these cases must be made over a considerable amount of time, rather than as a lump-sum payment. This can affect the ability of patients to pay for their medical debt without accruing further debt.It also can decrease the time individuals have to discover injuries and file a claim.

H.R. 1215 obviously puts companies before patients. Patients who are harmed by negligent medical care may not be able to receive the full compensation they are entitled to for the injury they sustained. Many patient claims can be worth far more than $250,000.

The bill was passed in the House, and is currently awaiting a Senate vote.Supporters argue that the bill will prevent frivolous lawsuits and reduce the overall cost of healthcare, since defensive medicine will no longer need to be practiced. Those against the bill are concerned over the short statute of limitations, which deeply undercuts most state statute of limitations for medical malpractice claims. Because the cap also greatly limits thea mount an attorney can claim in contingency fees, it can also harm theability of a patient to obtain experienced legal counsel for their medical malpractice claim. Consumer advocates and medical practitioners also seethe federal acts as an overreach, when legislation of the issue should be left to the individual states.

If you have questions about H.R. 1215, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team at Ivey, Barnum & O'Mara, LLC. Our Greenwich medical malpractice lawyers will take the time to answer your questions and help you understand your legal options. If you need help with your case, our dedicated legal team can help you through every step of your claim. We are available 24 hours a day for your convenience.

Start your case with a free case evaluation with our attorneys. Contact our team online, or dial 203-661-6000.

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