Sen. Brandon Beach Introduces “Patient Relief Act” in State Senate

ATLANTA (February 11, 2013) – Sen. Brandon Beach (R-Alpharetta) introduced Senate Bill 141, also known as the “Patient Relief Act,” in the State Senate today.  The act would replace the state’s current medical malpractice system with a no-blame, administrative model and would reduce healthcare costs.

“This act encompasses taking better care of our patients and saving taxpayer dollars,” said Sen. Beach.  “The current malpractice system has proven inefficient for patients and even doctors whom are forced to practice defensive medical practices in fear of litigation.   The Patient Relief Act will not only lessen the burden of taxpayer dollars, but also regain patients trust in the medical system.”

Under the proposal, the current adversarial tort system would be entirely scrapped and when a patient is harmed by a physician, he or she would file a claim for review by an independent panel of medical experts. If the panel deems “avoidable harm” occurred, the claim would be forwarded to a Compensation Board to award compensation.

As compared to previous reform efforts that have been oriented solely towards the reduction of medical malpractice insurance rates, this proposed administrative system—the “Patient Compensation System”—is multi-dimensional in its focus on the reduction of the cost of defensive medicine and an increase in true patient access to justice.

In support of the bill, Wayne W. Oliver, Executive Director of Patients for Fair Compensation released the following statement: “Senator Beach is doing patients and taxpayers a real service by proposing this legislation.  The Patient Injury Act would not only eliminate defensive medicine but give more injured patients an opportunity to be compensated for their injury. That would be a win for patients, doctors and all Georgians.”

The bill will now be referred to the Senate Health and Human Services Committee for consideration.

For Immediate Release:
February 11, 2013

For Information Contact:
Jennifer Yarber, Interim Director
Emily Williams, Communications Associate