8 Recent Legislative Developments Affecting the Healthcare Industry

The following is a roundup of legislative developments affecting the healthcare industry that have been reported in the last two months.

1. Wisconsin Senate Passes Bill Making Medical Apologies Inadmissible
A Wisconsin bill making physician apologies, condolences and expressions of sympathy toward patients regarding the healthcare provider's actions inadmissible in civil proceedings and administrative hearings was passed by the state Senate.

2. Pennsylvania Bill Would Raise Evidence Standard in Cases Against ED Physicians
Pennsylvania House Bill 804 would raise the standard of evidence from simple negligence to gross negligence in medical liability actions involving emergency care.

3. Vermont Will Introduce False Claims Legislation to Curb Medicaid Fraud
At the suggestion of the Vermont Attorney General's Office, several state senators will introduce false claims legislation targeting fraud in the state's healthcare system.

4. Kansas Lawmakers Vote to Increase Medical Malpractice Damages Cap
A Kansas Senate bill that aims to gradually increase the limit on damages that can be awarded for pain and suffering in medical malpractice cases cleared both the Kansas House and Senate.

5. California Bill Would Allow Undocumented Immigrants to Practice Medicine
California Senate Bill 1159, recently passed in the state Senate, would allow undocumented immigrants to practice medicine.

6. Alaska Passes Bill Making Medical Apologies Inadmissible Evidence in Medical Malpractice Cases
An Alaska bill making physician apologies and expressions of compassion toward patients regarding the healthcare provider's actions inadmissible in medical malpractice cases was passed by the Alaska legislature.

7. New Bill Would Help Ensure Stark Law Applies to Medicaid
The Medicaid Self-Referral Act of 2014, introduced by Rep. Jim McDermott (D-Wash.), seeks to provide clarification on the Stark Law and how it applies to Medicaid-designated health services.

8. California Initiative to Raise Medical Malpractice Cap Qualifies for Ballot
A California voter initiative to raise the pain-and-suffering damages cap in medical malpractice cases from $250,000 to $1.1 million qualified for the November ballot.

More Articles on Healthcare Law:

6 Findings on Medical Malpractice Caps
10 Things to Know About the Alleged VA Cover-Up
3 Largest Whistle-Blower Payments in False Claims Act Cases in 2014

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