Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ohio Senate passes limited tort reform

On May 19th the Ohio Senate passed S.B. 86, a limited tort reform bill, with a bipartisan floor vote of 22-10. Many chapter leaders were involved in the passage of this bill, including Dr. Gary Katz, Ohio ACEP President, and Dr. Catherine Marco, Ohio ACEP Government Affairs Committee Chair.  The Chapter conducted a State Senator contact campaign on May 18th to encourage legislators to pass the bill.  Ohio Senator Steve Buehrer sponsored this important legislation.

The bill extends limited liability protections for physicians providing emergency care under EMTALA, changing the standard of negligence to that of "reckless disregard" instead of the simple negligence standard used for medical malpractice cases.   This support for emergency physicians and on call specialists will improve access to emergency care for patients in Ohio and enhance the practice environment for emergency physicians.  The Ohio chapter of ACEP looks forward to introducing the bill in the Ohio House of Representatives in the fall.

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