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SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 32

INTRODUCED BY GRIMES

BY REQUEST OF THE SENATE JUDICIARY STANDING COMMITTEE

 

A JOINT RESOLUTION OF THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA REQUESTING THE LEGISLATIVE COUNCIL TO APPOINT AN INTERIM COMMITTEE OR DIRECT STAFF RESOURCES TO STUDY THE COSTS AND AVAILABILITY OF LIABILITY INSURANCE FOR HEALTH CARE FACILITIES AND HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS ASSOCIATED WITH HEALTH CARE FACILITIES; AND REQUIRING A REPORT OF THE FINDINGS OF THE STUDY TO THE 59TH LEGISLATURE.

 

     WHEREAS, many health care providers in Montana are alarmed at the rising cost of liability insurance; and

     WHEREAS, the Legislature has determined that a shortage of health care providers in the state and an inability to attract health care providers to the state would pose a serious threat to the health, welfare, and safety of the people of the state; and

     WHEREAS, the number of insurance carriers that provide liability insurance for hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes has declined significantly in the past few years; and

     WHEREAS, dramatic hikes in the prices paid by hospitals, clinics, and nursing homes for liability insurance, in some cases by as much as 1,000% over the past 2 years, may be a major contributor to the escalation in the cost of providing medical treatment; and

     WHEREAS, increased premiums for liability insurance for health care facilities and health care providers associated with health care facilities may be forcing physicians and other providers in Montana to consider curtailing certain medical services; and

     WHEREAS, the State of Montana has a compelling state interest in ensuring that affordable health care is available for its citizens, and stabilization of premiums for liability insurance for health care facilities and health care providers associated with health care facilities will contribute toward cost containment for health care for Montana citizens.

 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED BY THE SENATE AND THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES OF THE STATE OF MONTANA:

     That the Legislative Council be requested to designate an appropriate interim committee, pursuant to section 5-5-217, MCA, or direct sufficient staff resources to study the costs and availability of liability insurance for health care facilities and health care providers associated with health care facilities. The study must include:

     (1) a review of measures adopted by other states to address the liability insurance problems related to liability insurance for health care facilities and health care providers associated with health care facilities;

     (2) strategies for increasing availability of affordable liability coverage, including alternative sources of liability coverage;

     (3) the factors affecting the cost of liability insurance for health care facilities and health care providers associated with health care facilities; and

     (4) strategies for resolving liability claims outside of the court system.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the study committee or staff be directed to request information and assistance from representatives of the insurance industry related to professional liability insurance for health care facilities and health care providers associated with health care facilities, medical services facilities and providers, associations of trial and defense attorneys, and other interested persons.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the committee or staff be directed to develop a specific list of options for consideration, including an option of no action, to be considered for recommendation to the 59th Legislature.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that, if the study is assigned to staff, any findings or conclusions be presented to and reviewed by an appropriate committee designated by the Legislative Council.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that all aspects of the study, including presentation and review requirements, be concluded prior to September 15, 2004.

     BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the final results of the study, including any findings, conclusions, comments, or recommendations of the appropriate committee, be reported to the 59th Legislature.

- END -

 


Latest Version of SJ 32 (SJ0032.ENR)
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