Wash. Medical Malpractice Rules Outline Reporting Requirements

August 7, 2007

Regulations designed to provide guidance to insurers, providers, attorneys and claimants on complying with Washington’s new Health Care Liability Reform Law have been implemented, according to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner.

The law, enacted in 2006, addresses three key areas: patient safety, insurance industry reform, and civil liability reform. In part, the insurance industry reforms require licensed and surplus lines insurers, self-insurers such as hospitals and large medical clinics, risk retention groups, and claimants to report medical malpractice claims to the Office of the Insurance Commissioner after they are settled. Reporting requirements take effect Jan. 1, 2008. The new regulations explain the reporting procedures for both insurers and providers, and attorneys and claimants.

The new regulations:
* Create an electronic process for submitting claim data through an internet-based Web site;
* Define who must report the claim if payments are made by more than one entity;
* Specify which elements of economic damages must be segregated and reported separately from the total claim payment;
* Standardize the key data elements to be reported to ensure consistent reporting by all entities; and
* Describe payment data a claimant or their attorney must report after they receive a settlement

“The medical malpractice market is cyclical,” said Washington Insurance Commissioner Mike Kreidler. “One thing is for sure; we will face another national medical malpractice crisis. Thanks to the reporting requirements under the new law, Washington will be on the cutting edge of providing information to policymakers on the underlying cost drivers behind the market disruption.”

To view the new reporting requirements for insurers, self-insurers and risk retention groups, visit http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=284-24D. To view the requirements for claimants and attorneys, visit http://apps.leg.wa.gov/WAC/default.aspx?cite=284-24E.

Source: OIC

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