H.R. 1215: Protecting Access to Care Act of 2017

CBO Score


Date of Report

Wed March 22nd, 2017

CBO Report Details

Legislation Details

115th Congress

To improve patient access to health care services and provide improved medical care by reducing the excessive burden the liability system places on the health care delivery system.

Sponsor: Rep. Steve King — R — IA

This bill establishes provisions governing health care lawsuits where coverage for the care was provided or subsidized by the federal government, including through a subsidy or tax benefit. The bill does not preempt certain state laws and federal vaccine injury laws and rules. The statute of limitations is three years after the injury or one year after the claimant discovers the injury, whichever occurs first. For a minor, the statute of limitations is three years after the injury, except for a minor under six years old, for whom it is three years after the injury, one year after discovery of the injury, or the minor's eighth birthday, whichever occurs later. These limitations are tolled under certain circumstances. Noneconomic damages are limited to $250,000. Juries may not be informed of this limitation. Parties are liable for the amount of damages directly proportional to their responsibility. These provisions do not preempt state laws that specify a particular monetary amount of damages. Courts must supervise the payment of damages and may restrict attorney contingency fees. The bill sets limits on contingency fees. Certain evidence regarding collateral source benefits (e.g., insurance payments) may be introduced in lawsuits involving injury or wrongful death. Providers of collateral source benefits may not recover any amount from the claimant in such a lawsuit. These provisions do not apply if Medicare is a secondary payer or there is third party liability for Medicaid services. The bill provides for periodic payment of future damage awards. A health care provider who prescribes, or dispenses pursuant to a prescription, a medical product approved by the Food and Drug Administration may not be a party to a product liability lawsuit or a class action lawsuit regarding the medical product.

View the full vote history of this bill on GovTrack.us.

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