At the upcoming AMA House of Delegates meeting, beginning Saturday, delegates will consider a measure to limit reporting of unsuccessful malpractice lawsuits for physician credentialing to three years.
The measure, brought by the Washington State Medical Association, says it is standard credentialing practice to ask physicians "Have allegations or claims of professional negligence been made against you at any time?"
In the measure, the WSMA observes that "it adds insult to injury when a physician who has never been successfully sued, or who has faced frivolous lawsuits, is required to bear the burden to report these actions for the rest of his or her professional career."
Also in the malpractice arena, AMA delegates will consider resolutions to:
- Limit attorney contingency fees in malpractice cases to 30% for awards of up to $250,000 and 10% for amounts above that. The measure, sponsored by the Florida Medical Association, says at least 10 states have some kind of limit on contingency fees: California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Wisconsin.
- Set up pilot projects for a no-fault system to settle malpractice disputes. The measure, from the AMA Medical Student Section, would encourage state-based demonstration projects for no-fault professional liability system. It says no-fault systems have been effective in the aviation and nuclear energy industries.
- Create a uniform message on malpractice reform from all physicians' organizations. The measure, proposed by the Texas Medical Association, says specialty-specific reforms dilute reform efforts.
- Increase the professional liability insurance component that Medicare authorities use to calculate physicians' fees. The measure, from the Florida Medical Association, says there has been no change in the PLI component of Medicare's resource-based relative value scale (RBRVS) for many years, despite double-digit yearly growth in medmal premiums.