2008 Regular Session . April 17, 2008
The Week Ahead–Major Issues Coming Up
Next week will be a busy one at the Capitol, with House Civil Law and Procedure and Senate Judiciary A committees taking up Med Mal, immunities and more.
House Civil Law and Procedure Committee
Monday starts off with Civil Law meeting at 9:00 a.m. in House Committee Room 2. HB 70 by Rep. Nick Lorusso expands the private medical malpractice act to bring negligent transporting and monitoring of patients, as well as negligent credentialing, within the definition of malpractice. Health care is defined to include any patient-related or professional service, including acts relating to supervision, assistance with activities of daily living, personal hygiene or risk of falling.
HB 202 by Rep. Kay Katz grants Medicaid a privileged lien on net proceeds collected from a third party.
HB 215 by Rep. Franklin Foil would require that a medical expert witness in a med mal action hold a current and unrestricted license to practice medicine in the United States. An identical bill, SB 79 by Sen. Bill Cassidy, is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday in Judiciary A.
Also in Civil Law on Monday is a bill by Rep. John LaBruzzo, HB 887, that would reduce the medical malpractice cap to $250,000 for those patients who fail to pay for their health care services through private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, or otherwise.
Two bills in Civil Law, HB 217 by Rep. Franklin Foil and HB 895 by Rep. Hunter Greene, address the problem of medical records companies piling on certification charges and splitting up records requests into more than one request to double up on handling fees. These bills, each with a slightly different approach, are an effort to restrain the price gouging on patient records.
Senate Judiciary A Committee
Senate Judiciary A Committee meets at 9:00 a.m., Tuesday, April 22 (LAJ Lobby Day). The committee will meet in the John Hainkel Room in the basement of the Capitol. In addition to the medical expert witness bill, SB 79, the agenda will include SB 186 by Sen. Rob Marionneaux, to extend prescription to two years, and SB 211 by Sen. Marionneaux, to increase the jury threshold to $100,000.
The committee will also consider two immunity bills by Sen. Joel Chaisson. SB 301 protects medical personnel from liability for evacuation or treatment during an emergency when following a "disaster medicine protocol." SB 330provides immunity, except for gross negligence or willful misconduct, for medical personnel who render or fail to render treatment or first aid during a declared state of emergency. This immunity is available "regardless of compensation" and is not restricted to those in the disaster area.
LAJ Lobby Day, Tuesday, April 22
Come to the LAJ office in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, April 22, for LAJ Lobby Day. Come so that you can experience a day at the Legislature and help to hold the line on citizens' rights. Meet face-to-face with legislators and let them know the impact that many of these bills will have upon your clients and the civil justice system. Invite your representative and senator to lunch at the LAJ office. Call the LAJ office at 800-354-06267 or 225-383-5554 for details and to register to attend.
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