IHA Reacts to Ill. Medical Liability Reform Agreement

May 26, 2005

The Illinois Hospital Association and the more than 200 hospitals it represents are applauding the Democratic and Republican leadership of the Illinois Senate and House for working with the health care community to develop a legislative proposal to address the medical
liability crisis.

According to the IHA, this is an historic and significant agreement that will restore predictability to Illinois’ broken liability system that has been driving costs for hospitals and physicians to unsustainable levels and that has jeopardized the state’s health care system.

IHA said this comprehensive proposal is a fair and reasonable solution for everyone, most importantly for patients whose access to health care will now be ensured. It contains several critical reforms, including:

* Caps on non-economic damages ($500,000 for physicians; $1 million for hospitals);
* Structured awards to more efficiently provide for future medical care of injured plaintiffs and reduce medical liability costs (e.g., periodic payments such as annuities, rather than lump sum payments);
* Insurance regulations; and,
* Strengthened physician disciplinary regulations.

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