This November, in a surprise upset, Donald J. Trump won the presidency of the United States. This means President Elect Trump and those who he appoints to manage federal agencies will be shaping policies for at least the next four years. One of the announcements that Trump made following his election was the appointment of Tom Price to serve as the head of Health and Human Services. This appointment could mean that there are changes coming on the federal level which could affect the ability of injured patients and their families to make medical malpractice claims.
It is very important for victims of medical negligence to be able to recover full and fair compensation for damages. Unfortunately, tort reform efforts nationwide have already made malpractice cases harder across the country. If federal law changes, victims could face new challenges on recovering the compensation they need following injury due to medical negligence.
An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer can provide assistance to victims in responding to legal changes that affect their rights. An attorney can also provide help working within the legal framework to make the strongest possible case so victims can get the compensation that they deserve.
Atlanta Medical Malpractice Claims and the Federal Election
Tom Price has a long history as a federal representative, and he has developed a plan to replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). As the head of HHS, he will be in a position to shape healthcare policy and his plan may end up coming to fruition if PPACA is repealed and the republican congress must put forth legislation to replace it.
Price’s plan is detailed on his website and it includes a section on Lawsuit Abuse Reforms. The section of his plan details how the burden of proof would be changed in malpractice claims based on a caregiver’s compliance with clinical guidelines.
Under Price’s plan, the Secretary of Health and Human Services would contract with a physician’s organization to develop clinical guidelines for evaluating and treating conditions. Evidence based clinical performance guidelines would be created, reviewed, and approved. The guidelines would be made publicly available, and regularly updated no less than once every two years.
If a doctor or care provider could prove that he had adhered to the appropriate clinical guidelines, the defendant would not be held liable for medical negligence unless clear and convincing evidence establishes liability. A doctor could use adherence to the guidelines as an affirmative defense, and showing that the doctor followed the guidelines would create a “safe harbor” in any action in federal court, or all state court actions in which the claimant received a federal tax benefit or in which payment was made under Medicaid, Medicare, or SCHIP.
If this standard of proof changes, there could be circumstances where it is more difficult for victims of medical malpractice to obtain compensation. Working with an attorney to prove malpractice will be more important than ever.
The Atlanta medical malpractice lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent patients or their families after a medical mistake. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.