CM Indiana Bill

Indiana’s Proposed Bill SB55 for Healthcare Providers


Caitlin Morgan on Indiana’s Proposed Bill SB55 on Healthcare Providers

Senator Brent Steele (R-Bedford) of Indiana authored proposed Bill SB55, which permits a patient to bring an action against a healthcare provider without submitting the complaint to the medical review board if the amount of the claim is not more than $187,000. Right now, under current law, a patient may bring a direct action only if the amount is not more than $15,000.

Following is a summary of our position at Caitlin Morgan regarding the benefits of how lawsuits are currently addressed and the implications if Bill SB55 passes:

  • Removes panel process that healthcare providers and insurance carriers have enjoyed for 40 years to address the Indiana Malpractice Crisis of 1975
  • Indiana is one of a handful of states that avoided the malpractice crisis in the early 2000’s
  • Panel Process does the following:
    • Deters frivolous cases
    • Exposes frivolous cases
    • Allows physicians to focus on work rather than litigation/addressing frivolous suits
    • Limits premiums and improves access to care in Indiana (physicians want to work here)
    • Prevents Indiana payouts and defense costs associated with defense of frivolous cases
    • Protects healthcare providers and patients on the basis of the truth of the medicine, rather than on the emotion of the injury/injured
    • Limits National Practitioner Data bank reported payments on frivolous cases
    • Limits litigation time for healthcare providers spent on dealing with frivolous cases
    • Removal of the panel process will result in an increase in malpractice premium rates in Indiana
  • Because more frivolous lawsuits will be filed, there will be a greater impact to daily physician work, more payouts will be made without panel opinions to rely on, more defense costs will be paid because there will be more trial work, assessment of risk for insurance carriers will be more difficult because it will be less about the truth of the medicine and more about other factors
  • Increased premiums will increase lawsuits, doctors will be impacted with litigation on a daily basis, more defensive medicine will be practiced including more unnecessary tests ordered for protection of the physician, Indiana will be less attractive for physicians to practice here and access to care will suffer for the Indiana population)
  • Those that benefit are trial counsel – Plaintiff and Defense
  • Those that lose are healthcare providers who deal with the litigation, report the cases/payouts to the National Practitioner Databank, pay higher premiums or go uninsured and patients who cannot get access to care

Caitlin Morgan specializes in providing insurance programs for healthcare facilities and providers as well as offers medical malpractice insurance for large and small physicians and surgeon groups and hospital staff in Indiana. For more information about our products, please call us at 877.226.1027.