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Statement From IHA President Maryjane A. Wurth on Illinois Supreme Court Medical Liability Ruling
Date:2/4/2010

NAPERVILLE, Ill., Feb. 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Illinois Hospital Association is disappointed that the Illinois Supreme Court has struck down critically needed medical liability reforms that were improving health care access throughout the state and restoring predictability to our broken medical liability system.  

In doing so, the Court has rejected the clear will of the people of Illinois who called upon their legislators to enact this fair and sensible landmark legislation. In 2005, the General Assembly determined that there was a real public health crisis driving physicians out of Illinois and making health care more expensive and less available.  Accordingly, it enacted a bipartisan and comprehensive solution that included judicial reform, strengthened insurance regulation and improved physician discipline.

The hospital community is deeply concerned that this decision will renew the malpractice lawsuit crisis and make it more difficult for Illinoisans to access or afford health care as liability costs for physicians and hospitals are driven to unsustainable levels. Hospitals across the state will again face even greater challenges recruiting and retaining physicians, especially specialists such as neurosurgeons and obstetricians, who were leaving Illinois during the height of the crisis.

This decision and its dire repercussions for the health care delivery system highlight the critical need for the President and Congress to embrace serious and meaningful medical liability reform as part of health care reform. All plausible forms of medical liability reform, such as arbitration, specialized courts and early settlement offer approaches, should be explored as part of health reform.  However, caps on medical liability damag
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SOURCE Illinois Hospital Association
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