04RS SB91


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SB 91 (BR 267) - E. Scorsone

     AN ACT relating to medical malpractice and making an appropriation therefor.
     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 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 surcharge on all licensed physicians to provide initial funding; 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); authorize the issuance of revenue bonds not to exceed forty million dollars ($40,000,000); 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 the Kentucky Physician Liability Insurance Premium Assistance Program as a temporary mechanism to assist in payment of medical malpractice insurance premiums of physicians or physician specialties in a medical malpractice insurance emergency; authorize the commissioner of insurance to establish and administer the program; authorize the commissioner of insurance to hold a hearing to determine if a medical malpractice insurance emergency exists; direct the commissioner to hold such a hearing if requested by the Kentucky Medical Association or at least fifteen (15) physicians; establish qualifications for a physician to participate in the program; direct the Governor to appoint a seven (7) member Kentucky Physician Liability Insurance Assistance Program advisory council to advise the commissioner of insurance about the medical malpractice insurance market; establish a Kentucky Physician Liability Insurance Assistance Program Trust Fund to receive appropriations, gifts, and grants; create new sections of KRS 216B to create a patient safety center within the Cabinet for Health Services to maximize patient safety, reduce medical errors, and improve the quality of health care; require as a condition of licensure that every hospital and ambulatory surgical center report a medical error, adverse medical event, sentinel event, and related patient safety data to the center; amend KRS 311.377 to conform; direct the Legislative Research Commission to establish a 19 member task force on reducing meritless claims of medical malpractice and costs related to medical malpractice claims in the Commonwealth; direct the task force to report its recommendations as proposed legislation and proposed adoptions to the Rules of Civil Procedure to the Interim Joint Committee on Judiciary and the Civil Rules Committee of the Kentucky Supreme Court no later than October 1, 2004.

     Jan 15-introduced in Senate
     Jan 21-to Appropriations and Revenue (S)

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