Work Continues on Medical Liability Reform Legislation

Medical liability reform legislation remains one of the issues at the forefront of this legislative session. With the passage of SB 33 – Medical Liability Reforms, Apodaca (R-Henderson), by both chambers of the General Assembly, the conference committee is hard at work negotiating an agreement between the two versions of the legislation. No conference report has been made public at this time, but the NCMS continues to advocate for the strongest provisions from each bill, including a strong cap on non-economic damages and protection for doctors treating emergency medical conditions.

While SB 33 remains in negotiations, HB 542 – Tort Reform for Citizens and Businesses, Rhyne (R-Lincoln), has been favorably reported by the House Select Committee on Tort Reform and awaits its day to be debated on the floor of the House. This bill includes a provision to allow for actual medical costs to be admitted into evidence during a civil trial in which the cost of medical care is an issue, including medical malpractice cases. “Actual medicals” are the real dollars paid to settle a medical bill. Currently, only the billed charges are allowed into evidence. This significant improvement would allow for the jury to have a more honest understanding of the costs incurred by the injured party. NCMS supports this bill together with an extensive coalition of specialty society and business partners. HB 542 is expected to be debated on the House floor next week.

Share your thoughts below on these two tort reform bills.


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