CMA CEO Dustin Corcoran provided an update on the MICRA Compromise now known as Assembly Bill 35 and provided a summary of the provisions and impacts on vendors, as the Chairman of the CMA Robert E. Wailes testified last week before the California Senate Judiciary Committee in support of AB 35—jointly authored by Assembly Majority Leader Eloise Reyes and Senator Tom Umberg. which will implement the agreement reached by the Californians Allied for Patient Protection (CAPP) and the Consumer Attorneys of California to modernize the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act (MICRA). The modernized framework, which was unanimously adopted by the committee, will ensure that health care is accessible and affordable, while balancing compensatory justice for injured patients.
For those members who are unaware of the specific results, the item likely to generate the most interest is changes to the limit of non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases, which is currently $250,000, as opposed to the vote measure, which would have effectively eliminated the cap on non-economic damages entirely, under the agreement:
- Cases not involving the death of a patient will have a limit of $350,000 effective January 1, 2023, with a gradual increase over the next 10 years to $750,000 and a annual inflationary adjustment of 2.0% thereafter.
- Cases involving the death of a patient will have a limit of $500,000 starting January 1, 2023, with a gradual increase over the next 10 years to $1 million and an annual inflationary adjustment of 2.0% afterwards.
Critical MICRA safeguards that will remain in place with modest updates include the ability to pay future damages over time and limits on contingency plaintiff attorney fees. Under the agreement, the initiative will be withdrawn from the ballot and this decisive agreement will prevent another costly fight.
Today’s Los Angeles Times editorial offers a different perspective. Click on here to read the article.