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Roberts, Carroll, Feldstein and Peirce News Bulletin.

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Roberts Carroll Feldstein and Peirce

News Bulletin

Massachusetts Legislature Reforms Medical Malpractice Legislation to Promote Apologies and Encourage Settlements

On November 4, 2012, several significant medical malpractice reforms came into effect in Massachusetts. Two new statutory provisions are clearly intended to promote early settlement of medical malpractice claims. Mass. Gen. Laws. Ch. 231 § 60L provides for a 182 day notice or “cooling off” period in which the parties (a claimant and health care provider) must analyze and evaluate their respective cases. This 182 day period is clearly intended to encourage meaningful discussion of settlement. In addition, Mass. Gen. Laws Ch 233 § 79L provides protection for apologies made by health care providers in the event of unanticipated outcomes. Apologies not only promote provider-patient relationships, but some studies have shown that apologies can help to reduce the number of medical malpractice claims filed, promote settlement and reduce the amount paid in settlement.

Rhode Island Medical Assistance Intercept System Requires Insurers to Report Claims to Database and Reimburse for Medicare Payments Made to Claimants

The Rhode Island Legislature enacted legislation creating the Medical Assistance Intercept System that requires all Rhode Island insurers to register with an electronic database that will match Medicaid recipients with insurance claims to intercept payments from insurers for reimbursement to the State of Rhode Island Medicaid Program.