Issue Background

Tort Reform

MSNJ Files Brief with U.S. Supreme Court on Important Payment Remedies
MSNJ has joined with the AMA urging the U.S. Supreme Court to ensure that physicians have adequate remedies to dispute insurer payments and payment policies. In a friends-of-the-court brief filed on February 28, we urge the high court to affirm the arbitration and federal appellate court opinions that the arbitration clause in Oxford's physician agreements allows class arbitration. This case dates back to 2003 when Dr. Sutter, a New Jersey pediatrician, initiated a class-wide arbitration over Oxford's payment practices including bunding, downcoding, and delaying payments. We assert that physicians are without an adequate remedy if compelled by Oxford to arbitrate, but not allowed to arbitrate as a class. Oxford has lost in every court and has now achieved review by the U.S. Supreme Court. MSNJ has, and will, continue to fight for the right of physicians to contest insurer payment practices in a timely and meaningful forum. Read more.


NJ is Treacherous Ground for Physicians

According to an op-ed by AnnMarie McDonald of the New Jersey Lawsuit Reform Alliance (NJLRA), "New Jersey is Treacherous Ground for Physicians." She cites facts and figures on the number of medical liability claims compared to those of other smaller states, such as Ohio, which have enacted tort reform legislation. MSNJ is a founding partner of NJLRA and works closely with this organization to achieve meaningful tort reform. Tort reform is a key legislative initiative for the year ahead. We intend to move legislation that will:

  • Close "loopholes" in standards for expert affidavits of merit and testimony;
  • Seek Discovery Doctrine reform to address statute of limitations expansion;
  • Enhance the standard/integrity on admissibility of scientific evidence.


MSNJ Signs onto Joint Select Committee Tort Reform Letters

On Monday, MSNJ, along with nearly 100 specialty and state medical societies, signed a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction asking them to include meaningful medical liability reforms in the final legislative package. The letters urge the Committee to craft effective medical liability reforms which will continue to reduce the deficit while protecting patient access to care. Read the letters [1] [2].