Please Urge Governor Cuomo to Veto Disastrous Liability Expansion Bill and Work for Comprehensive Reform Instead

All physicians are urged to contact the Governor to continue to urge that he veto legislation (S.6800/A.8516) that would significantly expand the time to bring a medical malpractice lawsuit, in circumstances based upon an “alleged negligent failure to diagnose a malignant tumor or cancer”. Please urge him to work to develop comprehensive legislation that addresses the many deficiencies of New York’s malpractice adjudication system, particular given that New York overwhelmingly has the highest medical liability costs in the country. You can send a letter to the Governor here and call 518-474-8390.

S.6800 is the only bill remaining that has passed both Houses of the Legislature in 2017 but has not been delivered to the Governor. It is required to be delivered to the Governor by the end of 2017. However, the State Constitution provides the Governor with up to an additional 30 days to consider legislation if the Legislature adjourns its Session within 10 days of a bill being delivered to the Governor. As a practical matter, this likely means that the Legislature and the Governor will be having discussions on this legislation in January after the beginning of the new Legislative Session. Therefore, we need physicians to keep up their contacts to the Governor urging the need for comprehensive medical liability reform legislation, rather than one-sided bills that will add to our already exorbitant costs and exacerbate already challenging access to care issues for patients.

New Report: NY Doctors Pay Higher Liability Costs than Any Other State

Statement attributed to:
Charles Rothberg, MD,
President, Medical Society of the State of New York

“The Empire Center’s new report on tort liability confirms a reality that New York doctors (particularly those practicing in downstate New York) already know. New York physicians pay higher liability costs than physicians in almost every other state. For decades, reasonable proposals to bring some balance to our tort system have been systematically rejected by the New York Legislature. This year, not only were these needed reform proposals again not passed, our legislators voted to greatly lengthen the time to bring malpractice suits that are going to cause significant increases to our already exorbitant costs!

With New York potentially facing huge cuts and significant tax changes from the federal government, the need for balanced comprehensive medical liability reform is more important than ever. New York State has already received the dubious distinction of being the worst state to practice medicine, in part due to our excessive liability costs.