TITLE X--COMMITTEE ON WAYS AND MEANS--MEDICARE
"Medicare Amendments Act of 1997"
SUMMARY by HARP of
Subtitle I--Medical Liability Reform
- Applies to ALL Health care liability actions, i.e.:
- any civil action
- brought in any State or Federal court
- against a health care provider, or
- an entity which is obligated to provide or pay for health benefits
- under any health benefit plan, or
- the manufacturer, distributor, seller, etc. of a medical product,
- in which the claimant alleges a claim
- based upon the provision of (or the failure to provide or pay for)
- health care services or
- the use of a medical product,
- regardless of the theory of liability on which the claim is based
- or the number of plaintiffs, defendants, or causes of action.
- Applies to ALL State & Federal Health Care Liability Actions,
including Alternative Dispute Resolutions,
except under ERISA, and for vaccine injuries.
- Preempts all relevant state laws except those placing MORE
restrictions on liability
- Amount in Controversy for diversity purposes shall include
only economic damages.
- Statute of Limitations shall be the earlier of:
- 2 years after discovery of alleged injury, or
- 5 years after date of alleged injury
- Noneconomic damages are capped at $250,000 per injury,
regardless of number of defendants or actions.
- Liability for noneconomic damages shall be several, but not joint,
in proportion to share of economic damages.
- Punitive damages require clear & convincing evidence of:
- intention to cause harm, or
- conscious, flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of others.
- Punitive damages are capped at the larger of:
- 3 times actual economic damages, or
- Periodic payments must be allowed for future costs over $50,000.
- Periodic payments may not be changed for any reason except fraud.
- Defendant may introduce evidence of collateral source payments.