Florida Medical Association

FMA Magazine - Q2 2013

Magazine of the Florida Medical Association

Issue link: http://flmedical.uberflip.com/i/136766

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Page 12 of 36

Game-Changer With the Governor's signature, the FMA's medical liability reform bill transforms the practice landscape. After successfully championing major medical liability reforms in 2011, the FMA made pro-medicine history again during the 2013 Florida legislative session. The Legislature passed our priority medical liability reform bill (SB 1792), which transforms the medical practice landscape by requiring fairness in the use of medical expert witnesses. Gov. Rick Scott officially signed the bill into law on June 5. This hard-won achievement represents many years of work by the FMA to correct gross imbalances in Florida's tort system. Our success in passing these reforms helps you practice medicine by: • • • Requiring an expert medical witness to be in the same specialty as the defendant physician Ensuring a physician's constitutional right to counsel Giving parties equal access to medical fact witnesses "All we've ever asked for is a level playing field. SB 1792 is all about fairness, and the fact is that Florida physicians have been at an extreme disadvantage for a long time," said FMA President Vincent DeGennaro, M.D., "It's gratifying to see our efforts result in crucial reforms that will help physicians practice medicine. This is a game-changer." FMA Executive Vice President Timothy J. Stapleton said the new law benefits patients as well. "Making Florida a more welcoming place for physicians to practice medicine is essential to increasing Floridians' access to medical care, and that's precisely what the new law will do." 2013 legislative session highlights While passing medical liability reform topped the FMA's agenda, it's just one of many pro-medicine accomplishments on your behalf. A comprehensive summary is available here, and you can click on the items below for highlights. CAT Fund exemption More residency slots EpiPens in schools Cancer Treatment Fairness Act Ophthalmologist and Optometrist truce

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