American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Background

Medical liability in the U.S. is criticized as being costly, inefficient, and inconsistent. This broken system is failing both doctors and patients alike. For more than 40 years, numerous reform efforts have failed to pass legislation that contains costs, stabilizes liability insurance premiums, and meaningfully promotes patient safety.

Federal Legislative Priorities

Liability Protections for Volunteers

The Good Samaritan Health Professionals Act would ensure disaster victims’ access to medically necessary care in a federally declared emergency. It also provides liability protections to medical professionals who volunteer in a federally declared disaster. The College supports this legislation and is seeking re-introduction in the current, 116th Congress.

Improve Liability Protections for Trauma Providers

The ACS supports the Health Care Safety Net Enhancement Act. The Emergency Medical Treatment and Labor Act (EMTALA) mandates that a physician provide care to stabilize a patient who presents at a hospital emergency department, regardless of their ability to pay resulting in the poor likelihood of reimbursement and high-liability risk. The Health Care Safety Net Enhancement Act will help to address this growing problem by providing Public Health Service Act liability protections for physicians providing EMTALA mandated care. This legislation awaits re-introduction in the 116th Congress. 

State Affairs Legislative Efforts

Uniform Emergency Volunteer Health Practitioners Act (UEVHPA)

See a list of the states that have enacted UEVHPA.