Summary of Legislation 2009
Act 231 (Senate Bill 106) - Allows for immunity for health care providers and health care personnel who render services during a declared state of emergency. There is an exception for damages caused by gross negligence or willful and wanton misconduct.
Act 14 (House Bill 671) - Added nurse practitioner and clinical nurse specialist to the definition of a health care provider. Nurses have always been included in the definition; however, it was felt the advanced nurses needed to be added.
Act 40 (House Bill 667) - Contains the PCFOB's budget for fiscal year 2009-1010. The budget for administrative expenses is $3,981,919 and the budget for the payment of claims and defense expenses associated with the claims is $120,000,000.
Summary of Legislation 2008
Act 558 (Senate Bill 652) - Provides the following changes: 'Claimant' is defined as a singular party recovering damages. Requires the claimant to send the PCF a copy of the complaint filed in court and provide written notice of any trial date. Clarifies that the health care providers are liable for costs up to the time of judgment when the PCFOB was not a party to the trial. This applies to all complaints filed in court after 1/1/09. Allows the PCFOB to intervene in on-going litigation involving specific issues such as PCF qualification status of the health care provider whether a claim is subject to the medical malpractice act, and if the health care provider or insurer is bankrupt or insolvent and not providing a defense. Stipulations by the health care provider and claimants of past medical bills greater than $100,000, the parties are required to introduce the supporting documents into evidence in the trial court.
Summary of Legislation 2006
Act 323 (Senate Bill 406) - Provides for an expedited medical risk review panel process.
Act 694 (House Bill 412) - Revises the definitions of 'patient', 'malpractice', and 'health care'; provides for the inclusion of blood donors; and provides for matters related to medical malpractice.
Summary of Legislation 2005
Act 6 (House Bill 90 of First Extraordinary Session) - Provides suspensions and extensions of various legal and administrative deadlines during certain emergencies and disasters.
Act 63 (House Bill 485) - called the 'I'm Sorry' bill as it provides for protection to health care providers that express sympathy, compassion, condolence to a patient as such statements/actions are not admissible as evidence of liability. It also provides for protection of information gathered for risk management purposes.
Act 127 ( Senate Bill 184) - requires the PCF to send most panel notices by certified mail and if returned unclaimed, by regular mail. Also changed the timeframe for filing of a suit following the notice of an opinion or notice that a named defendant is not qualified from 60 to 90 days.
Summary of Medical Malpractice Legislation 2004
ACT 306 - SB 302 - states medical review panel requests shall not be reportable for credentialing purposes to state licensing boards, credentialing agencies, committees of hospitals or clinics, health insurers, HMOs. Effective 8/15/04
ACT 311 - SB 370 - states that the plaintiff or his attorney may select the Attorney Chairman without agreement from the defendant if no representative of the named provider notifies the plaintiff of their involvement within 45 days of notice from PCF of payment of the required filing fee (or waiver). Effective 8/15/04
ACT 182 - SB 381 - adds certain students to definition of Ambulance Service. Effective 8/15/04
ACT 183 - SB 382 - Calls for one panel process when both state and PCF providers involved in same claim for the same injury, unless parties have agreed otherwise. Effective 6/10/04
ACT 181 - SB 371 - refines the definition for future medicals as those incurred prior to the date of settlement or judgment and those incurred after a settlement of judgment. Effective 8/15/04
ACT 309 - SB 359 - Reduces mandated funded liability to 30% (from 50%), states proof of underlying coverage for corporations must be provided to PCF for qualification to be established, provides for a filing fee for amendments filed to pending actions even if original complaint filed prior to 8/15/03, mandates that amendments to existing panels must also be filed with DOA, allows the PCF Oversight Board to set the penalty amount for late surcharge payments, and states that in order for a physician to serve on a medical review panel he/she must hold an unrestricted Louisiana license.
2003 Legislation that impacts the PCF medical review panel process and claim handling by the PCF:
Act 961 - establishes items necessary in filing a request for a panel and a filing fee of $100 per named defendant and reimbursement of fee to plaintiff should the panel rule in their favor. (Effective 8/15/03)
Act 1263 - shortens the time to appoint an attorney chairperson to 1 year and requires the posting of a surety bond equal to the panel costs when a suit is filled following the rendering of an opinion of the medical review panel. (Effective 7/7/03)
Act 644 - allows interrogatories at the panel stage. (Effective 8/15/03)
Act 882 - states the PCF has a right to conduct discovery following a primary’s settlement, a right to jury trial and a right to allocate fault under certain conditions. Also requires health care providers to give advance notice to the PCF of any settlement in which the plaintiff intends to seek additional sums for the PCF. (Effective 7/1/03)
Further information can be found on the web site for the Louisiana Legislature, 2003 Session.