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Medical Liability Reform

Neurosurgery is the specialty that faces the highest

premiums, the most lawsuits and the largest average

indemnity payments. As such, the AANS recognizes

the need for improving the medical liability climate for

neurosurgeons. While federal medical liability reform

legislation remains elusive, the Washington Committee

continues to lead efforts to pass reform. Serving as vice-

chair of the Health Coalition on Liability and Access

(HCLA), and in collaboration with the trauma community

and others, Washington Office staff have worked to secure

the passage and introduction of several important liability

reform bills. First and foremost, the passage of MACRA

incorporated the “Standard of Care Projection Act,” which

ensures that any care standards and practice guidelines

derived from the Affordable Care Act (ACA), Medicare or

other federal programs — including PQRS, EHR and other

quality incentive programs — cannot be used to establish a

standard of care in medical malpractice actions. The “Health

Care Safety Net Enhancement Act of 2015” (H.R. 836/S.

884) would provide crucial medical liability protections

to neurosurgeons providing EMTALA-related care. The

“Saving Lives, Savings Cost Act” (H.R. 2603/S. 1475)

would provide certain protections for physicians following

clinical practice guidelines. Finally, the “Sports Medicine

Licensure Clarity Act” (H.R. 921/S. 689) would provide

protections for certain sports medicine professions that

provide certain medical service in a secondary state.

Top to Bottom:

Aviva Abosch, MD, PhD, FAANS, president of the American Society for Stereotactic and Functional

Neurosurgery meets with Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) during the 83rd AANS Annual Scientific

Meeting held in Washington, D.C.

Daniel M. Sciubba, MD, FAANS, pictured with Rep. Andy Harris, MD (R-Md.) during the Alliance of

Specialty Medicine’s 2015 Legislative Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.

AANS treasurer, Alex B. Valadka, MD, FAANS, meets with Rep. Dave Brat (R-Va.) during the Alliance

of Specialty Medicine’s 2015 Legislative Advocacy Conference in Washington, D.C.