Last Updated: Feb 27, 2019
By Marty Raniowski, MA, FCPP, Executive Vice President, PAMED
2,560 – This number says it all.
That’s how many people – physicians, patients, and other stakeholders – used the Pennsylvania Medical Society’s (PAMED) comment form to let the Pennsylvania Civil Procedural Rules Committee know they opposed a proposed rule change that would expand potential venues for medical professional liability actions.
In late December last year, we first learned that the Committee was proposing changes to the state’s medical liability venue rules. We needed to mobilize quickly – all comments to the Court had to be submitted by Feb. 22.
PAMED started by forming a coalition of 42 state-based organizations who oppose the venue rule changes. Most importantly, we asked you to protect patient care by sharing your personal stories with the Court. And you did – in overwhelming numbers.
More than 2,100 physicians and medical students used our online form to contact the Committee. This issue struck a chord with the physician community in Pennsylvania.
Physicians weren’t alone in opposing the rule change. You were joined by hundreds of your community members – patients, paramedics, nurses, physician assistants, attorneys, and many others.
PAMED also shared our official 101-page response to the proposal with the Committee. The response offers compelling data on the positive impact the current venue rules had on eliminating forum shopping and stabilizing Pennsylvania’s health care system. Read it here.
I want to offer a heartfelt “Thank You!” to everyone who contributed to this effort. Physicians truly rose to the occasion. PAMED is grateful to all those who took time to submit comments, contribute editorials to their local papers, share their perspectives with legislators, and get the word out on social media.
Your comments have already made an impact. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court has decided to delay their decision on the proposal in order to await further study by the Pennsylvania Legislative Budget and Finance Committee of potential effects of venue rule changes.
This fight isn’t over. We still have work to do to ensure that that these venue rule changes are not adopted. Together, Pennsylvania physicians, PAMED, and our partners stand ready to meet any challenges along the way.