03RS SB108


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SB 108 (BR 1363) - J. Rhoads, W. Blevins, D. Boswell, P. Herron Jr, B. Jackson, R. Jones II, R. Palmer II, J. Pendleton, E. Scorsone

     AN ACT relating to medical malpractice and making an appropriation.
     Create new sections of KRS Chapters 304 and 454 to create the Medical Malpractice Relief Act; create new sections of Subtitle 40 of KRS Chapter 304 to create the Kentucky Physicians' Mutual Insurance Authority to provide medical malpractice insurance to physicians; provide that the authority is a nonprofit, independent, self-supporting de jure municipal corporation and political subdivision of the Commonwealth; provide for a board of directors which shall function in a manner similar to the governing body of a mutual insurance company; direct the board to hire a manager who shall have proven successful experience for a period of at least five (5) years as an executive at the general management level in insurance operations or in the management of a state fund for medical malpractice; establish powers and duties of the manager; provide that the authority shall provide medical malpractice insurance to any physician licensed by the State Board of Medical Licensure pursuant to KRS Chapter 311 who pays the premium and complies with any other qualifications and conditions adopted by the authority; require the authority to provide coverage to any physician who is unable to secure coverage in the voluntary market unless the physician owes undisputed premiums to a previous medical malpractice carrier or to a medical malpractice residual market mechanism; direct the authority to establish separate rating plans, rates and underwriting standards for different classes of risks; require rates to be based only on Kentucky experience; authorize the board to declare an annual dividend and distribute it in the form of premium discounts, dividends, or a combination of discounts and dividends if certain conditions are met; require a quarterly report of assets and liabilities to be provided to the board, the Governor, and the Legislative Research Commission; require the board to file an annual report indicating the business done in the previous year and deliver the report to the Governor, commissioner of the Department of Insurance, Auditor of Public Accounts, Attorney General, and co-chairs of the Legislative Research Commission; prohibit the authority from entering into a contract for an audit unless the Auditor of Public Accounts has turned down a request to perform the audit; provide that if the assets of the authority are less than its liabilities, the board may levy an assessment on its policyholders; require the board to formulate and adopt an investment policy; require the manager to compile and maintain statistical and actuarial data; prohibit the authority from receiving any direct state general fund appropriation; authorize the board to initiate a one-time tax on all licensed physicians to provide initial funding which the General Assembly shall appropriate the entire proceeds as the initial policyholders surplus and transfer it to the authority; provide that upon request of the board, the Governor and the Secretary of the Finance and Administration Cabinet may determine additional initial funding which may include a loan from an existing state agencies not to exceed seven million dollars ($7,000,000); provide that the authority may utilize only agents duly and legally licensed and in good standing with the provisions of this chapter; exempt board members, the manager, and any employee from being held personally liable for acts taken in official capacity; require the board, manager, and employees to comply with the Executive Branch code of ethics; prohibit the authority from participating in any plan, pool, association, guarantee, or insolvency fund required by this chapter; require the board to comply with the open meetings and open records laws; direct the Attorney General and the Auditor of Public Accounts to monitor operations of the authority and authorize each to make examinations or investigations of the operations, practices, management, and other matters of the authority; require the Attorney General and the Auditor of Public Accounts to report jointly to the General Assembly in January in each year in which the General Assembly convenes in an even-numbered regular session the results of their monitoring activities; create a new section of KRS Chapter 454 to define "health care provider"; require the plaintiff, alleging professional negligence against a health care provider, to file a sworn statement stating that the claim has been reviewed and it has merit; provide that if the plaintiff fails to file a sworn statement, the defendant may move for dismissal, after which the plaintiff is required to correct the deficiency within thirty (30) days; provide that if the plaintiff fails to file a sworn statement within thirty (30) days, the court may dismiss the action without prejudice; create a new section of KRS Chapter 454 to require that a lawsuit against a health care provider be submitted to mediation and only upon failure of mediation be tried in court; create a new section of KRS Chapter 454 to permit the substitution of the liability insurer as the real party in interest in a claim for medical malpractice or negligence against a health care provider if the plaintiff files a verified acknowledgment that the plaintiff will accept the limits of any available insurance in payment of any settlement or verdict.

     Feb 5-introduced in Senate
     Feb 7-to Appropriations and Revenue (S)

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