The shuttered trauma center at 504-bed University Medical Center, Las Vegas, could reopen soon in the wake of an opinion by the state attorney general that Nevada's $50,000 limit on tort damages covers all physicians who sign interim employment contracts with Clark County. The temporary cap will cover physicians for 45 days, allowing time for the state Legislature to address the larger issue of tort reform during a special session later this month. One physician already has indicated he is willing to return to work, and about 20 others said they may do the same. Officials were forced to close the state's only Level I trauma center July 3 after scores of doctors resigned amid concerns about rising insurance premiums and liability at the high-risk facility. Despite the glimmer of hope, there was still no word on when the trauma center might reopen. About 15 orthopedic surgeons must return to work for the facility to reopen. Although the offer of a temporary cap on liability was extended before the trauma center was shut down, physicians were concerned about whether it would hold up in court. -- by Michael Romano
Nev. helps shuttered trauma center's bid for docs
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