Thirty-six states have laws on the books which allow physicians and healthcare workers to apologize to patients or their family members in the event of an adverse medical outcome, without it being admissible in court. Kentucky State Senator Ralph Alvarado, MD, who represents the 28th District, wants his state to be number 37. Join us on Healthcare Matters as we interview Senator Alvarado about his efforts to pass an Apology in Medicine law in Kentucky.
First introduced in 2016 as Senate Bill 31, Senator Alvarado’s proposal would “…prohibit the introduction of expressions of sympathy, compassion, commiseration, or a general sense of benevolence in medical malpractice actions.” During the 2016 legislative session, the bill passed the Senate, but did not emerge from the Kentucky House Judiciary Committee. Senator Alvarado has re-introduced the measure as Senate Bill 85 for the 2017 session. During our interview, Senator Alvarado speaks to why Kentucky needs an apology law, drawing from experiences in his own medical practice.
Senator Alvarado is a practicing physician with KentuckyOne Medical Group. Elected in 2015, he is the first Hispanic elected to the Kentucky General Assembly. Senator Alvarado spoke during the third night of the 2016 Republican National Convention.