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Broad Health Coalition Continues to Press for Medical Liability Reform
Date:1/14/2010

WASHINGTON, Jan. 14 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- As the House and Senate work to merge their health care reform bills, the Health Coalition on Liability and Access (HCLA) sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, emphasizing the need to retain and strengthen current medical liability reform provisions in any final legislation.

"Although the current political climate has prevented comprehensive medical liability reform efforts from passing, we want Congress to know that the issue is still very much alive and that the HCLA is continuing its work on this important issue for patients," said HCLA Chair Mike Stinson.

While the HCLA continues to favor comprehensive medical liability reforms, including reasonable limits on non-economic damages, the broad health coalition is urging Congress to incorporate in their final legislation provisions on demonstration projects and standards of care, as well as a guarantee that current and future state liability reforms are not nullified by any new federal health care legislation.

The HCLA believes that the language in the House bill regarding demonstration projects should be used as a starting point for this provision in the final bill, supporting incentive payments to encourage states to enact reforms to make the system work for both health care providers and patients.   The HCLA also opposes an overly broad "opt-out" provision which would undermine the effectiveness of new state reforms.

There are also concerns that new practice guidelines and standards in the health care bills, while designed to improve the quality of health care services, would unintentionally expand liability for health care providers. The HCLA proposes that the House-adopted language clari
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SOURCE Health Coalition on Liability and Access
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