Liability Protection Legislation Introduced

Elizabeth Fassbender

The “Saving Lives, Saving Costs Act” (HR 2603/S 1475), introduced by Rep. Andy Barr (R-Ky.) and Sen. John Barrasso, MD, (R-Wyo.), would provide a legal safe harbor for physicians who can demonstrate they followed recommended best practices developed by the physician community. In a press release, the legislators emphasized that this legislation has the potential to help lower health care costs while improving the quality of care for patients by reducing the necessary practice of defensive medicine and increasing adherence to evidence-based medicine.

“Frivolous medical malpractice lawsuits are forcing physicians to practice defensive medicine which drives up the cost of health care without improving outcomes for patients,” said Rep. Barr. “The liability climate is forcing many quality physicians out of the practice of medicine altogether and exacerbating an already chronic shortage of doctors, which threatens access to health care in this country.

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