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Thursday, October 24, 2013
Florida USDCT Judge Strikes Down FL's New Medical Malpractice Law
A federal judge has struck down a key Florida medical malpractice law that required a patient to allow a defending physician’s attorney to informally discuss the case with the patient’s other health care providers. The law would have allowed those discussions to take place without the patient or their representative being present.
U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled the state law violates the patient consent provisions of the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA). Under previous longstanding law, a patient seeking to file a medical malpractice claim against a physician had to provide the physician with a pre-suit notification.
Earlier this year Florida lawmakers added a new requirement that as of June 1, the pre-suit notification must include the patient’s authorization allowing a defending physician, the physician’s attorney, insurer and adjuster to hold ex parte discussions with the patient’s previous and subsequent health care providers without the patient and/or their attorney being present.