House preparing to vote on malpractice changes

11:10 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) - The Florida House is ready to vote on a bill that critics say would make it harder to pursue medical malpractice claims.

The House discussed the bill (SB 1792) on Tuesday. The Senate has already approved it. The bill is favored by Senate President Don Gaetz and is sponsored by his son - Rep. Matt Gaetz - in the House.

The legislation requires that expert witnesses who are called against a defendant doctor practice the exact same kind of medicine and not just be in "similar" fields.

The bill also allows - but does not require - any health care provider called as a witness to breach patient confidentiality and give attorneys information about a patient's treatment. This provision applies before a lawsuit is filed during informal fact finding.

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