REP. JASON CONGER
HOUSE DISTRICT 54
For Immediate Release
March 13, 2013
Contact: Rep. Jason Conger, 503-986-1454
OREGON HOUSE PASSES SB 483 TO IMPROVE
RESOLUTION OF PATIENT / HEALTH CARE PROVIDER DISPUTES
SALEM, OR – The Oregon House of Representatives voted Tuesday to create a new process for resolving patient disputes with health care providers and improving communication. SB 483 creates a new, pre-litigation process which allows for a safe, confidential opportunity to communicate and possibly compensate a person who was hurt during treatment.
“The goals of SB 483 are to improve patient safety, slow the rate of increases in healthcare costs and decrease the practice of defensive medicine,” said Rep. Jason Conger (R – Bend) who co-carried the bill on the House Floor. “While there are no guarantees in life, I think SB 483 will take a significant step toward achieving those goals.”
SB 483 allows doctors, patients and patients’ families to confidentially discuss what happened following an incident where the patient was harmed during treatment, and to talk about what can be done to fix the situation. It also makes data collection by the Patient Safety Commission more robust and systematic in order to better understand which procedures pose a higher risk and to develop best practices to reduce such risk.
“In the current, highly litigious environment, defense attorneys will often advise their health care provider clients to avoid any communication with patients who may have been harmed during medical treatment,” Rep. Conger said in his floor speech. “Imagine how it would feel if your loved one was hurt, or even died, during surgery. And the surgeon would not or could not talk to you about what happened and why. I know I would be confused first, and then very, very angry. And that means the likelihood of lawsuit is much higher.”
The legislation reflects the pre-session cooperation between the Governor, legislators, and groups than normally do not agree.
“Consider the unusual circumstances that bought SB 483 to the floor today. It is a medical liability solution that the Oregon Medical Association and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association actually agree on,” Rep. Conger said. “This may well be a once in a lifetime event. I have to credit the Governor, the Trial Attorneys Assn and the Oregon Medical Association for their hard work to find common ground on this component of healthcare costs.”
“This bill is not a perfect solution for medical liability. Nobody I know has claimed it is. But it is a first step. And it will, I hope, make progress toward achieving its objectives – increase patient safety, reduce costs and decrease defensive medicine,” Rep. Conger added.
This is the second session that Rep. Jason Conger has represented Bend in the Oregon Legislature. For more information, contact him at email@example.com or 503-986-1454.