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New MA law changes malpractice procedures

The Boston Globe / Associated Press, August 15, 2012

Physicians and attorneys have both expressed support for the changes, saying they will help reduce unnecessary lawsuits and improve patient safety. The changes, which were included in high-profile legislation recently signed by Gov. Deval Patrick to reduce healthcare costs, include establishing a 182-day "cooling-off" period as both sides try to reach a settlement, requiring the plaintiff and defendant to exchange information and allowing healthcare providers to acknowledge making a mistake without it being used as an admission of liability. Additionally, it will increase the maximum amount of compensation for patients who are legitimately injured by a non-profit hospital and not a doctor or nurse from $20,000 to $100,000.