Health

House advances healthcare provider liability protection-WUSF public media

In a bipartisan vote, Wednesday’s house panel agreed to move forward with a bill that would make it more difficult to sue nursing homes, hospitals, and doctors because of alleged negligence associated with COVID-19.

Members of the House Health and Welfare Committee voted 17-3 to introduce the 2021 Legislative Assembly Proposal (PCB HHS 21-01), which begins on March 2. This move was the first step towards a Republican-led parliament. COVID-19 Priority to protect healthcare providers from litigation.

Four of the Commission’s seven Democrats supported the introduction of the proposal as a bill, with the guarantee that Chairman Colleen Burton would keep the door open and work with lawmakers of concern.

“It’s a complex issue, an emotional issue, and a six-page invoice,” R-Lakeland’s Burton said before the vote on Wednesday.

Miami Gardens lawyer Christopher Benjamin was one of the Democrats who voted in favor of the bill. After the meeting, he quoted Burton’s commitment to continue working with members.

“What people want to do in this process is to expect improvements to be possible as they go through the committee process,” Benjamin said. “So we’ll move it forward on the next committee … they’ve listened to what people are saying between meetings, so they’ll tag the proposed amendments. If that doesn’t happen, My vote may be against. “

The bill was endorsed by nursing homes, hospitals, insurance companies and doctors.

The Florida Justice Society and the Florida AFL-CIO, a group of representative lawyers, opposed the bill. Rich Templin, an AFL-CIO lobbyist, said the bill does not protect health care workers defended by the state legislature as heroes.

“This bill is not for them,” Templin said.

This proposal allows healthcare providers to increase protection from COVID-19 proceedings by patients and residents claiming malpractice or infringement of their long-term care rights.

Under the proposal, plaintiffs would have to prove by superiority of evidence that the defendant committed gross negligence, recklessness, or deliberate misconduct. The bill also reduces the statute of limitations for COVID-19 medical claims to one year. Medical malpractice claims currently have a two-year statute of limitations.

This proposal also provides liability protection for non-medical malpractice claims against healthcare providers, as well as the protection contained in another bill (HB 7) limiting COVID-19 related proceedings against non-healthcare businesses. This includes requiring the plaintiff to obtain a certificate from a doctor that the plaintiff’s COVID-19 is due to the defendant’s actions.

The Senate has introduced a bill (SB 74) that provides exemptions for healthcare providers, but the bill is not the same as the House’s proposal.

While some Democrats on the committee supported the House’s proposal, Congressman Michele Rayner D-St. Petersburg opposed it.

“I represent consumers. I represent patients. I represent hard-working people. And my concern is that we understand that we are in an unprecedented era. That’s what Reiner said. “And we understand that we have to make adjustments, but let’s not do it at the expense of ensuring that those who are truly injured by the villain cannot recover.”



House advances healthcare provider liability protection-WUSF public media

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