FL bill would limit liability for ED docs

Some Florida legislators are trying to ease the shortage of on-call physicians by limiting their malpractice liability exposure. The bill would make healthcare workers "agents of the state" when they're treating emergencies, and its protection would extend to doctors, nurses, paramedics and hospitals. Malpractice awards in this situation would be capped at $200,000, unless the state legislature agreed to raise the limit in an individual case (which has about a snowball's chance in Florida of happening). Right now, without such protection, hospitals must pay some hefty dollars to doctors if they want them to be on call.

Not surprisingly, the bill is very popular with doctors and hospitals. Meanwhile, some critics say that it's not ideal because, for one thing, it won't bring doctors back in droves to ED work (given they have other reasons for not wanting to be on call). Worse, it could open the door to limiting liability in non-emergency cases, critics say. Still, the bill has sponsors in both the state Senate and House, so it actually could pass.

To learn more about the bill:
- read this St. Petersburg Times piece

Related Articles:
On-call payments for ED coverage challenged. Report
MA hospitals bow to on-call pay trend. Report
Trend: On-call shortage closing trauma departments. Report
SPOTLIGHT: Send in the "surgicalist." Report

Suggested Articles

The profit margins and management of Community Health Group raise questions about oversight of managed care insurers.

Financial experts are warning practices about the pitfalls of promoting medical credit cards to their patients.

A proposed rule issued by HHS on Tuesday would expand short-term coverage, a move Seema Verma said will have "virtually no impact" on ACA premiums.