HB 461: "An Act relating to expert advisory panels in medical malpractice litigation and the definition of health care provider for medical liability."

00HOUSE BILL NO. 461 01 "An Act relating to expert advisory panels in medical malpractice litigation and 02 the definition of health care provider for medical liability." 03 BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 * Section 1. PURPOSE. The purpose of the changes to AS 09.55.536 in secs. 2 and 3 of 05 this Act is to clarify and affirm the longstanding interpretation of that statute that a 06 governmental entity as a party, or a health care provider providing services on behalf of a 07 governmental entity, may have access to an expert advisory panel in a medical malpractice 08 action. 09 * Sec. 2. AS 09.55.536(a) is amended to read: 10  (a) In an action for damages due to personal injury or death based upon the 11 provision of professional services by a health care provider, including a person 12 providing services on behalf of a governmental entity, when the parties have not 13 agreed to arbitration of the claim under AS 09.55.535, the court shall appoint within 14 20 days after filing of answer to a summons and complaint a three-person expert

01 advisory panel unless the court decides that an expert advisory opinion is not necessary 02 for a decision in the case. When the action is filed the court shall, by order, determine 03 the professions or specialties to be represented on the expert advisory panel, giving the 04 parties the opportunity to object or make suggestions. 05 * Sec. 3. AS 09.55.536 is amended by adding a new subsection to read: 06  (i) This section applies regardless of whether the parties in the action or the 07 health care provider whose professional services are the subject of the action is in the 08 public or private sector. 09 * Sec. 4. AS 09.55.560(1) is amended to read: 10  (1) "health care provider" means an acupuncturist licensed under 11 AS 08.06; an audiologist licensed under AS 08.11; a chiropractor licensed under 12 AS 08.20; a dental hygienist licensed under AS 08.32; a dentist licensed under 13 AS 08.36; a nurse licensed under AS 08.68; a dispensing optician licensed under 14 AS 08.71; a naturopath licensed under AS 08.45; an optometrist licensed under 15 AS 08.72; a pharmacist licensed under AS 08.80; a physical therapist or occupational 16 therapist licensed under AS 08.84; a physician, podiatrist, or osteopath licensed under 17 AS 08.64; [A PODIATRIST;] a physician assistant or mobile intensive care 18 paramedic registered under AS 08.64; an emergency medical technician certified 19 under AS 18.08; a psychologist and a psychological associate licensed under 20 AS 08.86; and a hospital as defined in AS 18.20.130, including a governmentally 21 owned or operated hospital; and an employee of a health care provider acting within 22 the course and scope of employment;