H. R. 2787
IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
June 10, 2009
Mr. Thornberry introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To provide grants to States for health care tribunals, and for other purposes.
This Act may be cited as the
Medical Liability Procedural Reform
Act of 2009.
Grants for health care tribunals
The Attorney General may award grants to States for the development, implementation, and evaluation of health care tribunals.
The Attorney General may award up to 7 grants under subsection (a) and each grant awarded under such subsection may not exceed a period of 10 years.
Each State desiring a grant under subsection (a) shall submit to the Attorney General an application at such time, in such manner, and containing such information as the Attorney General may require.
Each State receiving a grant under subsection (a) shall submit to the Attorney General a report evaluating the effectiveness of activities funded with grants awarded under such subsection at such time and in such manner as the Attorney General may require.
The Attorney General shall provide technical assistance to the States awarded grants under subsection (a). Such technical assistance shall include the development, in consultation with States, of common definitions, formats, and data collection infrastructure for States receiving grants under this section to use in reporting to facilitate aggregation and analysis of data within and between States. The technical assistance shall also include guidance about identification and selection of health care tribunal judges and independent expert witnesses, compensation of injured patients, and clinical resources relating to the standard of care. States not receiving grants under this section may also use such common definitions, formats, data collection infrastructure, and other guidance from the Attorney General pertaining to health care tribunals.
The Attorney General shall enter into a contract with an appropriate research organization to conduct an overall evaluation of the effectiveness of grants awarded under subsection (a) and to annually prepare and submit a report to the appropriate committees of Congress. Such an evaluation shall begin not later than 18 months following the date of implementation of the first program funded by a grant under subsection (a).
The evaluation under paragraph (1) shall include an analysis of the effect of the grants awarded under subsection (a) on—
the number, nature, and costs of health care liability claims;
the liability environment;
health care quality; and
In this section:
Health care tribunal
The term health care tribunal means a trial court or administrative tribunal—
the sole function of which is the adjudication of disputes over injuries allegedly caused by health care providers;
to which all or a portion of such disputes within a jurisdiction are assigned;
the decisions of which are final, binding, and appealable; and
the judges for which have health care expertise and render decisions about the standard of care in dispute adjudication, with reliance on independent expert witnesses commissioned by such court or tribunal.
Health care provider
The term health care provider means any individual or entity licensed, registered, or certified under Federal or State laws or regulations to provide health care services, but does not include any manufacturer of drugs or devices.
Authorization of appropriations
There are authorized to be appropriated to carry out this section such sums as may be necessary. Amounts appropriated pursuant to this subsection shall remain available until expended.