At this writing, 350 bills and 39 resolutions have been introduced in the Senate....with almost 700 filed in the House. This week, I added to this list of proposed legislation by introducing two new patient protection bills on the floor of the Senate.
Senate Bill 303 would strengthen the authority of the Board of Healing Arts to take action when a doctor is becoming a danger to their patients. Senate Bill 303 would also allow the public to learn if any disciplinary action has been taken against a doctor in Missouri or another state.
A recent investigation by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch found multiple situations where substantiated complaints against doctors to the Board of Healing Arts have gone nowhere. This is an important patient protection bill that needs to be enacted so bad doctors do not continue to put patient’s health in danger.
I also filed Senate Bill 302, which would affect some associations that provide medical malpractice insurance.
To reduce their medical malpractice costs, some doctors are buying into plans that underinsure them. Without these new regulations, these associations could run out of cash if they had to pay out multiple claims. Senate Bill 302 will require them to maintain a surplus of at least $600,000 in order to ensure that they have the assets to handle major claims. We are all required to have a minimum amount of car insurance to cover reasonable claims and doctors should also have a malpractice insurance minimum. This will ensure that doctors and patients are protected alike.
There is an issue that has been ongoing since the Civil War, when the state took control of the St. Louis police force. This week, the House of Representatives passed legislation that would allow the City of St. Louis to take control of its own police force. A similar bill, Senate Bill 23, was voted out of the Senate committee this week, showing that the legislation is gaining steam this year. I think we need to be sure to evaluate the issue carefully and decide what will be best for the police officers and citizens of St. Louis City.
Two bills approved by the Governmental Accountability Committee this week convey land in our area. Senate Bill 96 would convey state land in Farmington to the Habitat for Humanity of St. Francois County, and Senate Bill 97 would convey state property in Farmington to the city of Farmington for an outer road. These bills were placed in the Senate Consent Calendar, meaning they are noncontroversial and are on the fast track to be voted on by the full Senate.
Friday, February 25, 2011
Engler explains his patient protection bills
Sen. Kevin Engler, R-Farmington, explains the two patient protection bills he has filed. From his latest report: