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Malpractice Bill Ready for Full House

Margaret Dick Tocknell, for HealthLeaders Media, May 13, 2011

The Help Efficient, Accessible, Low Cost, Timely Health Care (HEALTH) Act includes these provisions:

  • Limits the award of punitive damages to malicious intent or instances where the provider deliberately failed to avoid injury
  • Limits the monetary award for punitive damages to twice the amount of economic damages or $250,000.
  • Requires a plaintiff to file a lawsuit within 3 years of manifestation of the injury or within one year of discovery of the injury
  • Sets a sliding scale for attorney contingency fees
  • Allows the introduction of evidence of collateral-source benefits, such as Medicare or Medicaid, to prevent double recovery
  • Prohibits a physicians or pharmacist from being named a party in a product liability suit for prescribing or dispensing an FDA-approved product.
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