Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is expected to sign two bills clarifying the state's controversial constitutional amendments on access to medical records and medical malpractice. The bills answer calls from providers for more guidance on how to apply amendment No. 7, which increases public access to medical-errors information, and No. 8, which bans doctors with more than two malpractice incidents from practicing in Florida. Both amendments were approved in popular votes last fall. The clarifying legislation would limit medical-errors information to patients and confirm the continued force of existing laws on criminal and civil immunity for quality committees and on discoverability and admissibility of adverse-event records. In addition, the state medical board would have the leeway to determine if a malpractice judgment should count against a doctor if the finding was based on less than "clear and convincing evidence." And settlements would be excluded from counting as malpractice incidents. -- by Melanie Evans
Fla. refines laws on access to records, malpractice
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