Attracting and retaining providers


Gov. Jay Nixon has signed Senate Bill 239 into law. The legislation establishes new limits on liability for noneconomic damages in medical malpractice lawsuits. It creates a two-tiered set of caps on noneconomic damages based on the type of injury or outcome. Successful lawsuits based on various types of “catastrophic personal injury,” as defined by the bill, would have a noneconomic damages cap of $700,000, as would medical malpractice lawsuits involving a patient death. Other medical liability lawsuits would have a cap of $400,000. The caps would be adjusted annually by 1.7 percent. In 2012, the Missouri Supreme Court invalidated a $350,000 cap on noneconomic damages in medical liability lawsuits as an infringement of the state constitutional right to a jury trial.

Here’s a statement from Herb Kuhn, President and CEO of the Missouri Hospital Association.  “The Missouri hospital community appreciates the enactment and approval of Senate Bill 239. Missouri needs to be able to attract and retain health care professionals. The absence of a cap on noneconomic damages in medical liability lawsuits hurts Missouri’s position among the states as health care providers choose where to practice. The new law will create certainty in the liability insurance marketplace and make Missouri a more attractive state for physicians and other health care practitioners.”

The new law is a big deal for Missouri because it’s a good step in creating an environment to help attract and retain providers now if we can just get Medicaid Expansion in the state…

About Craig Thompson

I am a young professional with two great sons, and I work in the healthcare setting. I am employed in hospital administration and serve as Chief Executive Officer at Golden Valley Memorial Healthcare in Clinton, Missouri. At GVMH we care for our families, friends and neighbors. We're committed to providing the safest, friendliest and most compassionate care to all we serve.
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