Federal legislation would provide doctors litigation safe harbor - FamilyPracticeNews.com

Physician leaders are voicing support for a proposed federal law that aims to reduce litigation against doctors, lower health care costs, and establish more fairness in the analyzing of malpractice claims. The Saving Lives, Saving Costs Act, introduced in March by Rep. Dr. Ami Bera, (D-CA), would provide safe harbor protection to doctors who are sued if they followed evidence-based clinical guidelines.

"The Bera/Barr bill would accomplish two very important things," said Dr. John C. Jennings, president of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at the Permian Basin. "First, it would provide an incentive for every physician to follow the best clinical guidelines developed by his or her specialty, reducing care variations and potentially increasing patient safety and quality of care. Second, it would provide an affirmative defense for physicians who have followed their specialties’ guidelines and find themselves in the middle of a malpractice suit."

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