Kitzhaber signs medical-error mediation bill

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by Associated Press

kgw.com

Posted on March 18, 2013 at 12:20 PM

Updated Monday, Mar 18 at 12:21 PM

SALEM, Ore.  -- Gov. John Kitzhaber has signed a bill creating a new mediation process for patients injured by medical mistakes.

Kitzhaber signed the measure Monday flanked by legislators and the leaders of the Oregon Medical Association and the Oregon Trial Lawyers Association.

The governor and other supporters of the bill say it's a remarkably agreement between doctors and lawyers, who are often at odds over efforts to limit the costs of health care lawsuits. But critics say it won't do anything to reduce medical costs because it doesn't cap the amount of money that juries can award to patients injured by medical errors.

The measure would allow injured patients to confidentially discuss the error and a possible settlement with the hospital or clinic where the mistake occurred.

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