ASSEMBLY, No. 974

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

215th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2012 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblyman  JAY WEBBER

District 26 (Essex, Morris and Passaic)

Assemblyman  GARY R. CHIUSANO

District 24 (Morris, Sussex and Warren)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     “Medical Philanthropy Act”; provides physicians who provide uncompensated care with $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages in actions alleging medical malpractice.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel

  


An Act concerning physicians and medical malpractice liability and supplementing Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    This act shall be known and may be cited as the “Medical Philanthropy Act.”

 

     2.    a.  A physician licensed to practice medicine and surgery in this State who provides care or treatment to at least 10% of the physician’s patients in a calendar year without receiving any compensation for that care or treatment, shall not be liable in any action for noneconomic damages alleging medical malpractice against that physician in an amount that exceeds $250,000.  The $250,000 limit shall apply to cases arising out of care or treatment provided by the physician during the calendar year following the year the uncompensated care described in this subsection was provided.

     b.    The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services shall adopt rules and regulations, pursuant to the “Administrative Procedure Act,” P.L.1968, c.410 (C.52:14B-1 et seq.), that establish procedures for:

     (1)   physicians to report, document, and certify the uncompensated care and treatment provided in a calendar year and the total number of patients who received care and treatment from the physician during that year;

     (2)   the department to verify that the reported uncompensated care and treatment was provided to more than 10% of the physician’s patients; and

     (3)   the department to notify the physician and the Department of Banking and Insurance that the physician qualifies for the medical malpractice insurance limit.

     c.     Upon receipt of notification pursuant to subsection b. of this section, the physician may submit the notification to the physician’s medical malpractice insurer and inform the insurer that the physician is subject to a limit of $250,000 in noneconomic damages for the calendar year.

 

     3.    This act shall take effect on January 1, 2011.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill, which is designated the “Medical Philanthropy Act,” seeks to encourage physicians to provide their professional services without receiving compensation to more than 10% of their patients.  In return for the provision of uncompensated care and treatment, the bill establishes a $250,000 cap on noneconomic damages for a physician’s entire professional medical practice.  With a limited malpractice liability risk, the physician will be subject to a reduced medical malpractice insurance premium.

     Specifically, the bill provides that a physician licensed to practice in this State who provides care or treatment to at least 10% of the physician’s patients in a calendar year without receiving any compensation for that care or treatment, shall not be liable in any action for noneconomic damages alleging medical malpractice against that physician in an amount that exceeds $250,000.  The $250,000 limit shall apply to cases arising out of care or treatment provided by the physician during the calendar year for which the physician qualifies for the $250,000 limit.

     The Commissioner of Health and Senior Services is directed to adopt rules and regulations that establish procedures for:

     -- physicians to report, document, and certify the uncompensated care and treatment provided in a calendar year and the total number of patients who received care and treatment from the physician during that year;

     -- the department to verify that the reported uncompensated care and treatment was provided to more than 10% of the physician’s patients; and

     -- the department to notify the physician and the Department of Banking and Insurance that the physician qualifies for the medical malpractice insurance limit.

     Upon receipt of notification from the Department of Health and Senior Services, the physician may submit the notification to the physician’s medical malpractice insurer and inform the insurer that the physician is subject to a limit of $250,000 in noneconomic damages for the calendar year.

     The bill takes effect on January 1, 2011.