In another display of bipartisan healthcare reform, Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber signed a bill Monday that creates a process in which adverse healthcare incidents can be resolved (PDF) without patients and providers going to court.
The bill was approved by a 26-3 vote in the state Senate on March 5, and was then passed 55-1 by the state House of Representatives on March 12.
“To really improve the system and patient safety, healthcare providers and patients need to have open, frank discussions about the patient's care,” Dr. William “Bud” Pierce, president of the Oregon Medical Association, said in news release (PDF). “While SB 483-A is not liability reform in the traditional sense, it is a big step in the right direction and has tremendous potential to improve the practice environment and patient safety in Oregon while providing an alternative to the expensive and protracted court process that currently serves neither patients nor physicians.”