Medical malpractice insurance bill clears House subpanel

Side Note: this article from The Hill reports on a bill currently in Congress, aimed at subsidizing malpractice insurance costs for physicians volunteering at community health centers.  Currently, the high liability insurance cost of volunteering makes it essentially impossible for most physicians to volunteer, though many would like to.  This bill would allow physicians to give back to their communities, and increase the health care coverage available to low-income citizens around the country.  While we at the Cunningham Group can express nothing but support for this bill, the underlying problem is the unreasonable cost of medical liability insurance.  This problem must be addressed head on, with reforms to the legal system like limits on non-economic damages, reduced statutes of limitations, or alternatives to the court system (currently catching on in New York).

by Julian Pecquet
The Hill

A bill that would have the federal government cover medical malpractice costs for physicians who volunteer at community health centers cleared the Energy and Commerce panel’s health subcommittee on Thursday.

The sponsors of the bipartisan Family Health Care Accessibility Act, Reps. Tim Murphy (R-Pa.) and Gene Green (D-Texas), say the bill would enable underserved communities to have access to care at minimal cost to the government. The bill extends to volunteers the medical liability protections currently offered by the Federal Tort Claims Act to physicians employed at community health centers.

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