Assembly approves medical malpractice reforms
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[MAY 31, 2005]
SPRINGFIELD -- More than two years
after hundreds of doctors first rallied in Springfield, the General
Assembly has approved a medical malpractice reform agreement,
according to state
Bill Brady, R-Bloomington.
Senate Bill 475 implements a number of medical, insurance and
legal reforms, and caps noneconomic damages in medical malpractice
lawsuits at $500,000 for doctors and $1 million for hospitals.
"On Feb. 26, 2003, several hundred doctors came to Springfield to
rally against skyrocketing medical malpractice insurance premiums
that were driving physicians and hospitals out of business and
leaving citizens with fewer health care options," Brady said. "Now,
more than two years later, we have finally reached a long-overdue
agreement. I would have liked the caps on noneconomic damages to be
$250,000 for doctors and $500,000 for hospitals, but the fact that
we convinced Democrat leaders to accept caps at all is significant.
Also, I feel rate regulation will adversely affect affordable
medical malpractice premiums."
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Other provisions of the agreement
- Raise the standards that medical malpractice suits must meet
before moving forward, as a means of preventing frivolous
- Allow doctors to apologize to patients without those
statements being used against them legally.
- Enhance competition in the medical malpractice insurance
- Increase the number of medical investigators and coordinators.
- Create a website where patients can find out information on
Illinois physicians and any medical malpractice lawsuits that have
been filed against them.
Approved by the House of Representatives on May 30 and by the
Senate on May 31, Senate Bill 475 now moves to the governor, who has
said he will sign the measure.
[News release from