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AMA Highlights Issues Relating to Medical Liability Reform

New ideas likely to be implemented in 2016 to address existing, developing issues in medical liability

MONDAY, Feb. 8, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Medical liability reforms are likely to be advanced and challenged in 2016, according to a report published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

To address existing and developing issues in medical liability, the AMA is pursuing legislative solutions at the federal and state levels. To expedite the resolution of meritorious claims, provide more consistent damage awards, and reduce defensive medicine, three states recently passed new bills to create early disclosure system. Other states are likely to design systems to engage in early discussion with patients following adverse health care incidents. States will also work to establish and protect existing medical liability reforms, with implementation of caps on noneconomic and total damages.

The report also addresses new movements underway to adopt a no-fault patient compensation system for medical liability in which patients would be compensated automatically; many, including the Physician Insurers Association of America, are not in favor of the no-fault system. Legislation that the AMA will be advocating for in 2016 includes the Sports Medicine Licensure Clarity Act, which would protect sport medicine professionals when they travel with teams across state lines, and the Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act, which will protect health care professionals who volunteer during a federally declared disaster.

Lastly, physicians are also supporting medical liability reforms in the midst of legal challenges, including cases that threaten physician-patient confidentiality and cases questioning the admissibility of expert evidence and testimony.

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