D.C. Mayor Calls for Med-Mal Reform

May 5, 2005

Washington, D.C. Mayor Anthony Williams took a step this week to ensure that District residents continue to receive high-quality health care by introducing the Health Care Reform Act of 2005. The legislation is aimed at cutting back unreasonable awards, which are driving up malpractice insurance and chasing great doctors out of business and out of the city.

Mayor Williams’ legislation will reportedly help reduce malpractice insurance by expanding the Good Samaritan law to provide immunity to all physicians, nurses and nurse midwives who provide free care in the District. Currently, this law only applies to Ob/Gyns.

The bill will also require new patient safety and risk management regulations for District hospitals and health care facilities. It will also limit some types of exorbitant awards that are reportedly driving up the cost of providing health care. The bill will not place any limit on economic damages.

“The District is home to some of the best medical care in the country. We have outstanding doctors and hospitals,” said Mayor Williams. “If the Council goes along with this plan, we will soon be able to make the city a better place for doctors to work and practice. This bill is all about ensuring that our residents and visitors always get top-notch care and that our medical community can practice without undue burdens.”

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