Lawmakers urged to take up malpractice issue

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Kentucky lawmakers are being urged by a coalition of powerful health care and business groups to revamp the state's medical malpractice system.

The new group, called the Care First Kentucky Coalition, is pushing for legislation to create medical review panels. The coalition sees review panels as a deterrent against meritless malpractice lawsuits.

Coalition members include the Kentucky Medical Association and Kentucky Chamber of Commerce.

Senate Majority Leader Damon Thayer said Friday that overhauling the medical malpractice system is a key issue for Senate Republicans in the legislative session.

House Speaker Greg Stumbo said he would be open to considering review panels for malpractice lawsuits against nursing homes. But Stumbo said the panels' findings should not be admissible at trial.

He said panel members could testify because they would be subject to cross-examination.

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