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The Bergen County Medical Society - latest reform 2 20 03 (Page 1)

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The Bergen County Medical Society - latest reform 2 20 03
1
EXPLANATION - Matter enclosed in bold-faced brackets
[
thus
]
in the above bill
is not enacted and is intended to be omitted in the law.

Matter underlined thus is new matter.
2/20/2003 EHS
BPU#
G:\CMUHUM\H02\SHH03\H02_0024.WPD HS
068
SR
058
TR
xxxx
SENATE COMMITTEE SUBSTITUTE FOR
SENATE, No.
STATE OF NEW JERSEY

Sponsored by Senators
A
N
A
CT
concerning medical professional liability, insurance reform and
patient protection and revising parts of the statutory law.

B
E
I
T
E
NACTED
by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of
New Jersey:

1. (New section) This act shall be known and may be cited as the
"New Jersey Medical Care Access and Responsibility and Patients First
Act."

2. (New section) The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. One of the most vital interests of the State is to ensure that
high-quality health care continues to be available in this State and that
the residents of this State continue to have access to a full spectrum of
health care providers, including highly trained physicians in all
specialties;
b. The State's health care system and its residents' access to health
care providers are threatened by a dramatic escalation in medical
malpractice liability insurance premiums, which is creating a crisis of
affordability in the purchase of necessary liability coverage for our
health care providers;
c. One particularly alarming result of rising premiums is that there
are increasing reports of doctors retiring or moving to other states where
insurance premiums are lower, dropping high-risk patients and
procedures, and practicing defensive medicine in a manner that may
significantly increase the cost of health care for all our citizens;
d. The reasons for the steep increases in the cost of medical
malpractice liability insurance are complex and involve issues related to:
the State's tort liability system; the State's health care system, which
includes issues related to patient safety and medical error reporting; the
State's regulation and requirements concerning medical malpractice
liability insurers; and the general disruption in the commercial insurance
market;
e. It is necessary and appropriate for the State to take meaningful and
prompt action to address the various interrelated aspects of these issues
that are impacted by, or impact on, the State's health care system; and
f. To that end, this act provides for a comprehensive set of reforms
affecting the State's tort liability system, health care system and medical
malpractice liability insurance carriers to ensure that high quality health
care services continue to be available and accessible to residents of the

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