Massachusetts Medical Society: Testimony Before the Joint Committee on Judiciary in Support of H.791, H.878, and H.2322

Testimony Before the Joint Committee on Judiciary in Support of H.791, H.878, and H.2322

H.791, “An Act Relative To Patient Care Access”
This bill would increase reporting requirements for liability insurers; allow future sources to be included as evidence of collateral sources; require expert witnesses in actions against physicians to be board certified in the same specialty as the defendant physician; grant the Board of Registration in Medicine authority to review the testimony of expert witnesses from a clinical perspective as to the standard of medical care; allow for periodic payments of awards over $50,000; and eliminate joint and several liability.  

H.878, “An Act Reducing Interest Liability in Treble Damage Settlements”
This bill amends provisions of the 93A Consumer Protection Act by requiring that whenever there is a verdict, finding, or order for treble damages, interest will be added at no more than the rate equal to the weekly average 1-year constant maturity Treasury yield for the period from the date of the breach or demand.

H.2322, “An Act Relative to Emergency and Disaster Planning for Health Care Providers”
This bill grants qualified civil immunity to physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals who provide emergency medical services, except in the case of willful or wanton misconduct or reckless disregard.  The bill would also require that, in the situation of a governor declared emergency, or during other locally declared emergency situations, there would be a general waiver of liability of court or regulatory agency administrative sanctions against health care providers to ensure that providers are able to care for patients quickly without worry about liability concerns.

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