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Governor Branstad signs legislation to open new avenues of dialogue and compensation for victims of medical errors

The following is a recent news release from the Iowa Association of Justice.

Leading up to the 2015 legislative session a cohort of IAJ members that practice primarily in the area of medical malpractice reached an agreement with the Iowa Medical Society regarding medical errors legislation. The agreed upon legislation provides greater opportunity for doctors to acknowledge and compensate for medical errors, while giving injured patients the benefit of an attorney and preserving their access to the courts, in any event. The legislation passed unanimously in both the Iowa House and Senate earlier this year, was signed by Governor Branstad this afternoon and will become law on July 1, 2015.

- See this overview of the new policy we put together as the legislation was being considered by lawmakers: Compensating Injured Patients.
- Click here to read the legislation:
Senate File 426.
- You can see a letter to the editor we had published in the Des Moines Register last month on the topic by
clicking here.

photo for blog april 20th.jpg
Top photo, left to right: Russ Hixson (IAJ member), Lt. Gov. Reynolds, Gov. Branstad, Brian Galligan (IAJ President-elect). Bottom photo includes representatives of IAJ, IMS, the Lt. Governor, the Governor and Rep. Bobby Kaufmann (R, Wilton).

IAJ just released the following statement to the media.

"We believe this new law will lead to more open and honest communication between patients and medical care providers. Patients and their loved ones deserve the whole truth about medical errors that result in injury or death, and health care providers deserve a candid forum to explain what happened and explore how errors can be avoided in the future. Ultimately, all Iowans benefit when medical errors are confronted candidly and systematically.

"SF 426 is an important step forward for patient safety. It preserves injured patients' constitutional rights and honors the medical care providers' oath. Governor Branstad is to be commended for signing it into law." - Brian Galligan, IAJ President-elect

Special thanks to IAJ members: Brian Galligan, Russ Hixson, and John Riccolo for serving as "lead negotiators" during this process. They attended several meetings that turned out to be well worth all their time.

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