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Medical Review Panel Bill Heads to Likely Receptive House

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The Kentucky Senate Thursday approved a bill that would establish medical review panels.

The legislation, approved by a 23 to 13 vote, would set up three-member panels to review claims of neglect and negligence brought against medical providers. It has fared well in the past in the GOP Senate. Louisville Democratic Senator Perry Clark cast a "no" vote.

“It may not come as a surprise to most of you, John Hopkins University just recently said that medical error should rank as the third leading cause of death in the United States," Clark said. "Only cancer and heart disease causes more death than medical error in the United States right now.”

Bill Sponsor and physician Ralph Alvarado told Senators defensive medicine is not good for caregivers, taxpayers, or patients. He says the current climate of litigation is contributing to a doctor shortage in Kentucky. The medical review panel legislation is likely to be given final approval before week’s end.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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