Medical malpractice reform in Oregon?

Oregon governor John Kitzhaber, in cooperation with representatives of the Oregon Medical Association and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association, has presented a proposal to improve patient safety, reduce medical-related lawsuits, and reduce the state’s health care costs. To accomplish these goals earlier disclosure of injuries would be required, followed by an apology, when applicable, and a compensation offer within 90 days. If agreement cannot be reached, mediation would follow, and if mediation is unsuccessful, the parties could then move to a lawsuit.

The proposal goes to the newly formed Patient Safety and Defensive Medicine Workgroup, which is comprised of a medical doctor, a trial lawyer, and lawmakers. The workgroup will hold public meetings and revise the proposal.

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