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Medical professionals tout new law regarding malpractice claims

It is true that patients expect and deserve the best efforts of medical providers when they are ill or injured. However, those same medical professionals also may need some protection of their own when it comes to allegations of malpractice. New York providers may face allegations of substandard care when a patient suffers from an unexpected complication or poor recovery.

One state recently acted to help curb the incidences of invalid medical malpractice claims. This state approved a law that now requires patients or families who experienced a poor outcome to care to have the case considered by a review board before it proceeds to a court room. The board may take up to a year to arrive at its determination, which will be entered into part of the case once it comes before a court. The board is to be comprised of four individuals -- three medical providers and an attorney -- who will examine the merits of the claim before attempting to decide whether it has merit.

Many have advocated for this change for years, as it is believed that such a process will help reduce the number of frivolous cases as well as reducing health care costs for the state's residents. However, there are opponents who claim that the new law will discourage patients with valid claims from attempting to have their day in court. The measure was sponsored by a senator and physician who treats nursing home residents. It is the belief that the new system will ultimately benefit both sides.

Many states have such review boards already in place. However, they do not impede a patient's rights to have a valid claim heard in court. New York medical professionals who find that they are facing allegations of malpractice are assured ot the right to launch a vigorous defense against any allegations of wrongdoing in order to preserve their reputations and ability to continue practicing medicine.

Source: kentuckynewera.com, "Kentucky medical malpractice lawsuits need to pass new muster", Deborah Yetter, June 30, 2017

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