Debating Medical Review Panels

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014

It was good to be back on the air Monday with Kentucky Tonight after our brief hiatus for TeleFund — thank you all for your financial support of KET!

Last night we had a solid, vigorous discussion about medical review panels. The Kentucky General Assembly is considering Senate Bill 119, which would require those with medical malpractice claims to go before a review panel before they’re allowed to move forward with litigation in court. The measure passed the state Senate in February and awaits action by a House committee.

The bill would create a three-person expert panel, with a member selected by each side in the dispute and a third panel member selected by those experts. The panel would review the evidence in the case.

Proponents, including Kentucky Tonight guests Dr. Steve Stack, a Lexington physician, and Michael Sutton, a Louisville lawyer and counsel for the Kentucky Association of Health Care Facilities, argue that the high cost of medical liability insurance in the state is driving away doctors.

Opponents of the bill, including AARP Kentucky President Jim Kimbrough and Vanessa Cantley, a Louisville lawyer and district vice president for the Kentucky Justice Association, say the panels would prolong the legal process for those seeking justice and would not improve the quality of care for Kentuckians.

Here’s an excerpt of our conversation.

Watch the full Kentucky Tonight program.

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