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Vermont Nurse Practitioners Association

Malpractice Bill: Comments Requested

Posted over 4 years ago by Amy O'Meara

This announcement has 1 attachment:
H-035.pdf (43 KB)

House Bill 35 (H. 35) Establishing a no-fault compensation program for medical malpractice claims involving primary care physicians - Being introduced by Representative Till, Jericho.

This bill proposes to establish a no-fault compensation program for medical injury claims brought against primary care physicians in Vermont. The program, which would replace the current litigation-based medical malpractice system with respect to primary care providers, provides for the payment of compensation to any person injured as a result of treatment provided by a primary care physician, irrespective of fault on the part of the physician. Compensation to the injured person is made from a fund capitalized by annual assessments paid by physicians practicing primary care in Vermont. Physicians who pay assessments into the fund will no longer be required to purchase medical malpractice insurance for providing primary care. The bill establishes a Medical Injury Review Board to hear and decide applications for compensation submitted by injured persons.

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The VNPA will be introducing an amendment to include APRNs who are primary care providers as well as including an APRN on the Medical Injury Review board.   If our edits are accepted VNPA will actively support this legislation.  We would appreciate any comments, concerns regarding this legislation and remember that legislation is very time-sensitive. 


Comments

Kim Ladue over 4 years ago

A few comments/questions would be about the "annual assessments" paid by the primary care providers. Right now, I believe most facilities pay for the malpractice for their providers (realizing this isn't so for private practices); what would the "assessment" amount look like? How would it get determined? Who would or could pay for it? Also, what would be the makeup of the review board? Does some semblance of that exist now? I can't imagine the "assessments" the providers would pay could possible cover all the litigation that might occur on an annual basis though I could be wrong. Do we know how much money is now being paid out to claimants? Thanks, Kim Ladue, APRN, FNP

Deborah Wachtel over 4 years ago

Excellent questions Kim, I have an email into our national leadership as well as the leadership for the multi-state reimbursement alliance to have them weigh in on this. It is true that NPs are sued less and should not have to pay an equal share of the compensation fee. It would be removed from the system of litigation and therefore whatever decision the review board made would be the compensation for the plaintiff. I believe the make-up of the board is written in the bill and we would include an NP. If you think of other members that should be included then let me know and that will be part of our recommendation.

If enough members of VNPA and also if the national leadership recommends against our participation in this legislation then we will most-likely not move forward with this. Thank you so much for your comments and questions - Deborah Wachtel

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