Summary: H.R.3037 — 102nd Congress (1991-1992)All Information (Except Text)

There is one summary for H.R.3037. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in House (07/25/1991)

Health Care Liability Reform and Quality of Care Improvement Act of 1991 - Title I: Findings and Purpose - Sets forth: (1) findings regarding this Act and (2) the purpose of this Act.

Title II: Health Care Liability Reforms - Requires, in order to be eligible to participate in the incentive program provided for in this title, that States have in effect the health care liability reforms set forth in this title.

Requires, in any health care liability action, the liability of each defendant for non-economic damages to be several and not joint, with each defendant liable only for the proportion of that defendant's fault and a separate judgment against that defendant in that amount.

Prohibits awarding non-economic damages over a certain dollar amount in any health care liability action, subject to waiver.

Reduces the total damages received by a plaintiff by the amount of any collateral source benefits.

Allows: (1) future economic damage awards to be paid periodically based on when the damages are likely to occur or at the time the damages accrue; and (2) in certain circumstances, the court to require the health care provider to purchase an annuity or fund a reversionary trust to make such periodic payments. Prohibits reopening a judgment awarding periodic payments to contest, amend, or modify the schedule or amount in the absence of fraud or any ground permitting relief after entry of a final judgment.

Declares it U.S. policy to encourage alternative dispute resolution (ADR). Requires a State to establish at least one ADR mechanism.

Requires a State to: (1) cooperate with Federal research efforts regarding patient outcomes, clinical effectiveness, and clinical practice guidelines; (2) collect, analyze, and supply the Secretary of Health and Human Services with information regarding the performance of State medical boards; and (3) impose continuing education requirements on a disciplined physician. Allows alternatives to these requirements regarding medical boards and continuing education if the Secretary finds the alternatives at least as effective in reducing the incidence of negligence as compliance with the requirements.

Allows States three years from the adoption of this Act to enact, adopt, or otherwise comply with the requirements of this title.

Requires withholding two percent of payments to States computed under specified provisions of title XIX (Medicaid) of the Social Security Act and one percent of payments to hospitals computed under specified provisions of title XVIII (Medicare) of the Social Security Act and redistribution of the withheld funds to those States and hospitals which have complied with the provisions of this title.

Allows waiver of the requirements of this title for any experimental, pilot, or demonstration project which is likely to assist in promoting the objectives of this Act.

Title III: Federal Implementation of Health Care Liability Reforms - Amends Federal law to prohibit, in a health care liability action, finding the United States jointly and severally liable for non-economic damages. Allows liability only for those non-economic damages directly attributable to its pro rata share of fault. Reduces damages paid by the United States by the amount of any collateral source benefits. Prohibits awarding non-economic damages, in an action against the United States, over a certain dollar amount.

Requires, at the request of the United States when future economic damages are awarded in excess of a specified amount, an order that such damages be paid by periodic payments based on when the damages are likely to occur. Allows the United States, in such cases, to pay the judgment periodically, purchase an annuity, or fund a reversionary trust. Prohibits reopening the judgment to contest, amend, or modify the schedule or amount in the absence of fraud or any ground permitting relief after entry of a final judgment.

Title IV: Construction of Provisions - Provides for construction of this Act, severability, and the effective date of this Act.