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AHCA/NCAL President & CEO: “Let’s Get Tort Reform Done this Year”  
AHCA/NCAL President & CEO: “Let’s Get Tort Reform Done this Year”
Medical malpractice reform enjoys bipartisan support, Parkinson says

Tom Burke

Washington, DC – In the wake of President Obama’s call for medical liability reform, AHCA/NCAL today threw its support behind the initiative. The measure now enjoys broad bipartisan support, and could serve as the beginning of consensus-building momentum on other health care priorities for the 112th Congress.

“As lawmakers ponder what’s doable this congressional session, we can all agree that tort reform has a real possibility of finally becoming law,” stated Governor Mark Parkinson, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “For the long term care profession, the issue is about preserving dwindling resources for patient care and adequate staffing.  The President supports it. Let’s get it done.”

The Association pointed out that, even though questionable lawsuits are often settled out of court, the sheer volume of them drains financial resources, as highlighted in the recent actuarial analysis by Aon Global Risk Consulting of claim costs to long term care. Internal analyses show that siphoning off needed resources in this way can inhibit care quality, may lead to a deteriorating living environment, and problematic staffing ratios.

Recent activity that could spark movement on the topic this year includes:

  • HR 5, introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey with six cosponsors, would cap non-economic damages and establish a time limit to file a claim;
  • The House Judiciary Committee which held a hearing on January 20 entitled “Medical Liability Reform: Cutting Costs, Spurring Investment, Creating Jobs;”
  • The Administration’s National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform recommended an “…aggressive set of reforms to the tort system” in its final report titled “Moment of Truth,” released in December 2010.