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Ohio ACEP to Pursue Liability Reform in 132nd General Assembly

Ohio ACEP looks forward to working with the legislature, the Ohio State Medical Association, and the Ohio Hospital Association on the introduction of legislation similar to House Bill 559, which was sponsored by Rep. Robert Cupp (R – Lima) in the previous General Assembly. Ohio ACEP strongly supported the bill, which would have made several positive changes to medical liability laws in Ohio:

  • Allow for liability protection for care given during a disaster using the “reckless disregard” standard
  • Update Ohio’s “I’m Sorry” law to state that an expression of “error or fault” is inadmissible as evidence
  • Grant liability protection for physicians and others who discharge (or fail to discharge) those with mental health conditions if the provider is acting in good faith
  • State that insurers’ reimbursement policies are not admissible evidence to establish a medical standard of care
  • State that provisions of the Affordable Care Act are not admissible evidence to establish a medical standard of care

The provision to strengthen Ohio’s “I’m Sorry” law is a major priority for the Chapter and would promote honest and open communication between physicians and patients. After an adverse medical event, no healthcare provider should have to consider their own legal protection before reaching out to patients and family members to discuss the case, express sympathy, or even offer comfort and support.

Last year, Chapter President Dr. Michael McCrea gave heartfelt testimony to the House Judiciary Committee in support of strengthening the “I’m Sorry” law, and Ohio ACEP will continue to champion the issue in 2017.

Grassroots advocacy will be critical to passing this important bill once it is introduced—we will need your help! Be on the lookout for updates and action alerts to support medical liability reform in Ohio!

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