HOSPITALS DELAY “RIGHT TO KNOW” LEGISLATION

Hospital lawyers in Florida have convinced the Florida Supreme Court to delay a new state amendment that gives patients the “right to know” about past mistakes made by doctors and medical facilities, according to the Insurance Journal. They have also asked the justices to reverse other rulings, including one that would lift limits on the records that patients can obtain regarding “adverse medical incidents.”

One major disagreement about the “right to know” legislation is when it will take effect. There are arguments for the amendment being only prospective and for the amendment being retroactive. A judge in one case in Daytona Beach denied the request for records after the amendment was passed, but the court in Tallahassee came to the opposite decision for three of their cases. Of course, the hospitals are arguing that the amendment should not be retroactive and the patients and attorneys are arguing that the amendment should be retroactive.

“Notami lawyer Steven Wisotksy urged the justices to uphold the law, which limits patients’ to getting only final reports of adverse actions. Without that restriction, hospitals and doctors would be overwhelmed trying to provide ‘any records’ as called for by the amendment. … Thomas Equals responded for the plaintiffs, arguing the law ‘effectively disabled or eviscerated the whole concept’ of the amendment.”

See the full article here.

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