ALBANY -- The state, not hospitals, will pay the medical bills of newborns who suffer brain injuries during birth. The money will come from a new state fund created in the just-completed 2011-2012 budget.
Hospital leaders, who advocated for the fund, say it will reduce medical malpractice premiums. Patient advocates say it will create a layer of bureaucracy for patients and let hospitals off the hook for medical errors.
"Our feeling is that this has set up a bureaucratic monstrosity for these families where they will be forced to go to the state for their child's care," said Joanne Doroshow, executive director of the Center for Justice & Democracy.
The medical community had also hoped for a $250,000 cap on jury awards for punitive damages in medical malpractice lawsuits, but the cap failed to get legislative approval.
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