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First ACA physician shield becomes law

NEWS IN BRIEF — Posted May 13, 2013

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Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal on May 6 signed into law a measure that protects doctors from civil liability for breaching federal health system reform requirements, the first statute of its kind.

The Provider Shield Act, drafted from American Medical Association model legislation, prevents health reform metrics from being used as evidence in liability cases. The measure states that payer guidelines and quality criteria under federal law shall not establish a legal basis for negligence or a standard of care for the purposes of determining medical liability.

In a statement, AMA Board of Trustees member Patrice A. Harris, MD, commended Georgia lawmakers for enacting legal protections “for physicians engaged in quality and delivery improvement initiatives included in the federal health care reform law. The first-of-its-kind legislation reinforces the concept that medical decisions are made based on a patient’s unique medical needs.”

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