NORCAL Mutual Insurance Company, the ninth largest medical professional liability insurance company in the country, praises Congress for passing and President Barack Obama for signing into law bipartisan legislation that prevents the misapplication of federal healthcare reimbursement and other policy guidelines in medical liability claims.
The standard of care language is part of the Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) bill, known as the “doc fix,” which permanently repeals the Medicare SGR formula that threatened to drastically cut Medicare spending on physician services. This bill was passed by the House 392 to 37 and the Senate 92 to 8. The President signed the bill into law on Thursday, April 16.
The standard of care language states that “any guideline or other standard under any Federal health care provision shall not be construed to establish the standard of care” in a medical malpractice claim. This allows physicians and specialty societies to continue to set the standard of care and not federal payment guidelines.
“NORCAL Mutual, along with our partners, has worked for the past five years to advocate for this language to protect how standard of care guidelines are set,” Scott Diener, President and Chief Executive Officer of NORCAL Mutual said. “We are thrilled that the importance of this bill and the positive impact it will have on patients and physicians was recognized and executed swiftly.”