Thursday, April 14, 2011
Florida Senate Bill 1590
The Florida Senate is considering legislation (SB 1590) that would reform medical malpractice law. This bill would require that any physician testifying in a medical malpractice case either be licensed in Florida, or obtain a certificate of their credentials from the Board of Medicine prior to providing testimony. Presently, no such credentials are required, and plaintiff's attorneys can find anyone with a medical degree who is willing to testify and pay them to do so. The bill also gives doctors the final say on whether an insurance company can settle out of court on your behalf. This is freqeuently done to savce money for the insurance company, but at the cost of tarnishing a physician's reputation, even if no wrong was committed. In going through my own licensure and credentialing process, I have had to verify numerous times over that I have not been sued and settled out of court. There are many sad stories and can only imagine the distress of having to carry the burden of being labeled as a "doctor with a settlement" against me, even if I did nothing wrong. The bill was heard in Senate Banking and Insurance committee on Tuesday April 12 and received ten yeas and no opposition.