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HomeUncategorizedLiability protection for health care providers clears committee

Liability protection for health care providers clears committee

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by Pat Raia, [email protected]

Legislation that would protect healthcare providers from some COVID-19-related lawsuits has cleared it’s first hurdle to becoming law when the Senate’s Judiciary Committee passed it by a vote of 6-4. Meanwhile, the Florida chapter of the nation’s highest-profile senior citizens’ advocacy group believes the legislation would put the welfare of some seniors at risk.

Filed on Feb. 3 by State Sen. Jeff Brandes (R-St. Petersburg), SB 74 provides preliminary procedures for civil actions connected to COVID-19-related claims, requires a standard of proof for such claims and makes some healthcare providers immune from liability for some COVID-19 related claims.

The Senate’s  Judiciary committee passed the measure on Feb. 10.

Brandes said that the Committee’s passage of the measure recognizes how the health care community has been challenged by COVID-19.

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Physicians have been asked to make very difficult choices to delay surgeries and procedures to preserve personal protection equipment (PPE) and other supplies, (and) nursing homes were asked to keep their doors open and maintain staffing levels.,” he said. “This legislation protects a health care industry that has gone over and above the call of duty to protect and help our citizens.”

By contrast, a written statement AARP Florida State Director Jeff Johnson said that the measure would destroy the rights of nursing home residents, and permit nursing homes to neglect residents without consequence.

Long-term care facilities must be accountable when their wrongdoing threatens the health—and lives—of residents and staff. Especially when isolated residents are vulnerable and often unable to advocate for themselves,” Johnson’s statement said. “This legislation is a shameful step backwards.”

SB 74 is now under review by the Senate’s Health Care Policy committee.


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