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Bill that would offer free malpractice coverage faces hurdles

The Hill, July 27, 2010

 

House lawmakers moving legislation to lure physicians to medically underserved areas are hoping the politics of tort reform don’t sink their proposal — again. The bill, passed Thursday by the House Energy and Commerce Health subcommittee, would offer free malpractice coverage to doctors volunteering at community health centers (CHCs) — private facilities receiving federal funds to treat patients where care is lacking. The proposal represents an expansion of the Federal Tort Claims Act, which currently covers malpractice costs for CHC employees, but not volunteers. Therein lies the issue.