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Lawmakers Hear Proposal to Create Medical Review Panels in Nursing Home Malpractice Cases

A new legislative proposal would set up a medical review panel in cases of malpractice or abuses in Kentucky nursing homes.The House Health and Welfare Committee heard the proposal, which advocates say would help cut down on frivolous malpractice lawsuits that are routinely filed against nursing homes.The panel would include three doctors, selected by both sides in a lawsuit, to review the medical issues in a case. It would not limit the ability to sue and the panel’s recommendations would be usable in court, says state representative Tommy Thompson.“And I think finally this is the most important comment Mr. Chairman, is the bill would initiative some common sense reforms that would help put an end to the culture of litigation that is permeating the long term care industry today,” he said.But the bill is opposed by the AARP and other affiliated groups who say it creates another level of bureaucracy for victims to get through.The bill did not come up for a vote and is likely to continue being tweaked during the summer interim session.

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