President’s letter: The liability climate is at risk and we need your help

Thursday, March 01, 2018 12:05 PM
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The governor recently appointed a justice to the Colorado State Supreme Court who COPIC, CMS and the state’s lawsuit reform communities are concerned may indicate, based on previous published commentary, a move of the court to erode significant components of tort law and doctrines that in turn could undermine Colorado’s longtime stable medical liability climate.

Notwithstanding those concerns, the jury, so to speak, is still out on the question of whether advocates who become jurists set aside their professional and personal opinions when they put on the robe. No doubt, trial cases will be pursued all the way to our highest court with the underlying purpose of expanding defendant liability. Of course medicine and our many allies will diligently surveil and advocate as test cases emerge over time.

Meanwhile, we face another concern with the convening of this year’s Colorado General Assembly. We expect another effort to raise Colorado’s medical liability caps, and the laws governing medical licensure and peer review will be reviewed in advance of the 2019 sunset process when they can be potentially revised. Trial attorneys who sue doctors, hospitals and other health care professionals for malpractice will invest heavily in challenging legislators who have sided with medicine, especially regarding their perennial efforts to raise or repeal Colorado’s malpractice damage limits and breach the confidentiality of peer review records.

Now is the time for physicians to step up and support the many state legislators of both parties who have championed our issues as well as opposed the trial attorneys’ annual push to raise or repeal damage limitations. We are asking you to support our efforts to combat this by contributing to the CMS Small Donor Committee (SDC) and the Medical Society Liability Expense fund (MSLE).

The SDC works to elect candidates who support medicine’s efforts to preserve Colorado stable tort environment. These contributions only benefit candidates who will protect Colorado’s medical malpractice caps and help us enact comprehensive liability reform. The maximum annual contribution is $50.

The MSLE solicits donations from physicians and other interested supporters to be spent exclusively on legal expenses associated with preserving Colorado’s stable tort environment and peer review confidentiality. Since these funds are spent on legal expenses combating trial lawyers’ attempts to raise liability caps or weaken peer review confidentiality and are not used to contribute to political candidates for office, they are not reported to the Secretary of State or subject to donation limitations.

Your donation to either fund goes only to support Colorado’s medical liability climate. Donate securely online at www.cms.org/contribute.

We face a strong, well-financed adversary and your medical society is constantly fighting these expensive battles on your behalf. Thank you for your continued support of our profession and the community of organized medicine. Please contact me at president@cms.org if you have any questions or concerns.


Posted in: Colorado Medicine | Practice Management | Legal and Ethics | Initiatives | Advocacy
 

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