Senate tackles health care reform

Issue June 2012 By Lee Ann Constantine

The Senate tackled a long-awaited health care reform measure last month which aims to contain health care costs in Massachusetts. The Massachusetts Bar Association with the Massachusetts Academy of Trial Attorneys, were vocal players in the debate in a few areas of the bill.

In a historic effort, the MBA, MATA and Massachusetts Medical Society proposed language, which was included in the Senate bill, pertaining to so-called apology and written notice laws.

Additionally, both the MBA and MATA were successful in efforts to amend the Senate bill, removing provisions requiring: expert witnesses to be engaged in the practice of medicine at the time of the alleged wrongdoing; be board certified in the same specialty as the defendant, and; a provision that would lower the interest rate in medical malpractice cases.

The House is set to begin debate on its health care reform bill in early June. The formal portion of the legislative session concludes on July 31, 2012.