Settlement Language Removed from BMP Disclosure Bill
[MMA News Now, April 26, 2012] Legislators have removed a main point of contention for the MMA – the posting of malpractice settlements online – from the health licensing disclosure bill. The full House and Senate are expected to take up the bill late Thursday or Friday.
The legislation is intended to increase public disclosure of information on licensees by such health licensing boards as the Board of Medical Practice (BMP).
“Our focus all along has been to ensure that the posted information will be helpful for consumers,” said Dave Renner, MMA director of state and federal legislation. “Malpractice settlements do not always help. There are many reasons to settle a malpractice lawsuit, some of which have nothing to do with the competency of the practitioner.”
The revised bill also calls for:
• a study to develop recommendations for a standardized approach on criminal background checks, which may include fingerprinting;
• a study by the Office of the Legislative Auditor on how the BMP implements the Medical Practice Act (MPA); and
• a study by the Commissioner of Health on whether the MPA provides protections and transparency for the public. As part of this study there will be an advisory committee that will include two MMA appointments.
According to the bill, the website posting of malpractice judgments, criminal convictions, and actions by other licensing boards will not begin until after July 1, 2013. Only those actions occurring on or after that date will be posted.