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First Substitute H.B. 135

Representative Dean Sanpei proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Dean Sanpei

Senate Sponsor: John L. Valentine

             6      Cosponsors:
             7      Michael S. KennedyMike K. McKell              8     
             9      LONG TITLE
             10      General Description:
             11          This bill amends medical malpractice action or arbitration proceedings.
             12      Highlighted Provisions:
             13          This bill:
             14          .    provides that a certificate of compliance must be issued for a health care provider or
             15      health care entity to allocate fault in a pre-litigation medical malpractice or
             16      arbitration hearing; and
             17          .    requires that evidence from a medical review panel remain unreportable to a health
             18      care facility or health insurance plan.
             19      Money Appropriated in this Bill:
             20          None
             21      Other Special Clauses:
             22          None
             23      Utah Code Sections Affected:
             24      AMENDS:

             25          78B-3-418, as last amended by Laws of Utah 2010, Chapter 97
             26          78B-3-419, as renumbered and amended by Laws of Utah 2008, Chapter 3
             28      Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
             29          Section 1. Section 78B-3-418 is amended to read:
             30           78B-3-418. Decision and recommendations of panel -- No judicial or other review.
             31          (1) (a) The panel shall issue an opinion and the division shall issue a certificate of
             32      compliance with the pre-litigation hearing requirements of this part in accordance with this
             33      section.
             34          (b) A certificate of compliance issued in accordance with this section is proof that the
             35      claimant has complied with all conditions precedent under this part prior to the commencement
             36      of litigation as required in Subsection 78B-3-412 (1).
             37          (c) (i) Notwithstanding any other provision of this part, any party in a medical
             38      malpractice action or arbitration hearing may request a prelitigation panel review as to a health
             39      care provider and obtain a certificate of compliance for that specific, individual health care
             40      provider for the purpose of allocating fault to that health care provider. A party in a medical
             41      malpractice action or arbitration hearing may not attempt to allocate fault to any health care
             42      provider unless a certificate of compliance has been issued in accordance with this section for
             43      that specific, individual health care provider. A health care provider exempted from the
             44      requirement of a pre-litigation hearing by statute or an arbitration agreement, may nevertheless
             45      be joined in a pre-litigation hearing to satisfy the requirements of this section. Participation in
             46      a pre-litigation hearing may not waive any right to enforce an arbitration agreement.
             47          (ii) The party making the claim against, or seeking to allocate fault to, a health care
             48      provider is required to seek and obtain the certificate of compliance required by this Subsection
             49      (1)(c).
             50          (2) (a) The panel shall render its opinion in writing not later than 30 days after the end
             51      of the proceedings, and determine on the basis of the evidence whether:
             52          (i) each claim against each health care provider has merit or has no merit; and
             53          (ii) if a claim is meritorious, whether the conduct complained of resulted in harm to the
             54      claimant.
             55          (b) There is no judicial or other review or appeal of the panel's decision or

             56      recommendations.
             57          (3) The division shall issue a certificate of compliance to the claimant, for each
             58      respondent named in the intent to file a claim under this part, if:
             59          (a) for a named respondent, the panel issues an opinion of merit under Subsections
             60      (2)(a)(i) and (ii);
             61          (b) for a named respondent, the claimant files an affidavit of merit in accordance with
             62      Section 78B-3-423 if the opinion under Subsection (1)(a) is non-meritorious under either
             63      Subsection (2)(a)(i) or (ii);
             64          (c) the claimant has complied with the provisions of Subsections 78B-3-416 (3)(c) and
             65      (d); or
             66          (d) the parties submitted a stipulation under Subsection 78B-3-416 (3)(d).
             67          Section 2. Section 78B-3-419 is amended to read:
             68           78B-3-419. Evidence of proceedings not admissible in subsequent action --
             69      Panelist may not be compelled to testify -- Immunity of panelist from civil liability --
             70      Information regarding professional conduct.
             71          (1) Evidence of the proceedings conducted by the medical review panel and its results,
             72      opinions, findings, and determinations are not admissible as evidence in [an action] any civil
             73      action or arbitration proceeding subsequently brought by the claimant [in a court of competent
             74      jurisdiction] against any respondent and are not reportable to any health care facility or health
             75      care insurance carrier as a part of any credentialing process.
             76          (2) No panelist may be compelled to testify in a civil action subsequently filed with
             77      regard to the subject matter of the panel's review. A panelist has immunity from civil liability
             78      arising from participation as a panelist and for all communications, findings, opinions, and
             79      conclusions made in the course and scope of duties prescribed by this section.
             80          (3) Nothing in this chapter may be interpreted to prohibit the division from considering
             81      any information contained in a statutory notice of intent to commence action, request for
             82      prelitigation panel review, or written findings of a panel with respect to the division's
             83      determining whether a licensee engaged in unprofessional or unlawful conduct.

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