To the editor:
Recent letters to the editor about legislation (HB 2530) clarifying the application of the Kansas Consumer Protection Act to physicians and health care providers are very misleading. Despite what the Kansas Trial Lawyers Association would have you believe, this legislation does not prevent physicians from being held accountable for their actions, nor does it keep them from being sued for deceptive practices.
The bill just makes it clear that claims involving a health care provider's competence, or the care and treatment of patients will continue to be handled as medical malpractice claims in the tort system; and claims over deceptive billing, misleading advertising or inappropriate business practices will continue to be brought under the Consumer Protection Act, just as they are today. Without this clarification, there would be more unnecessary and duplicative litigation, increased defense and malpractice insurance costs and, ultimately, increased health care costs for Kansans.
This legislation does not protect "deceptive and dishonest" health care providers. It does discourage enterprising plaintiffs' lawyers from filing costly and meritless consumer protection act claims, and using an otherwise good law in ways that were not intended.
Kansas Medical Society, Topeka