HOUSE BILL NO. 133
AS AMENDED BY
HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1 TO HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 18 OF THE DELAWARE CODE TO IMPROVE TRACKING OF MEDICAL MALPRACTICE SETTLEMENT AND VERDICT TRENDS.
WHEREAS, the General Assembly has previously determined that medical negligence claims which are settled or adjudicated should be reported to the Department of Insurance, and has implemented Title 18, Chapter 68 of the Delaware Code to fulfill this determination; and
WHEREAS, the primary reason for such reporting requirements is to permit the Department of Insurance to properly monitor trends in medical negligence claims and payments, in order to better carry out its rate-setting duties; and
WHEREAS, these reporting requirements also provide the Department of Insurance with an opportunity to report appropriate cases to the Board of Medical Practice; and
WHEREAS, compliance with Title 18, Chapter 68 has been sporadic, which has resulted in the Department of Insurance lacking accurate information regarding medical negligence settlements and verdicts.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF THE STATE OF DELAWARE:
Section 1. Amend § 6820, Title 18 of the Delaware Code, by striking the language thereof in its entirety and by substituting in lieu thereof the following:
“(a) Every insurance carrier providing medical negligence coverage and who pays any amount for insurance coverage for any medical negligence claim shall file a report with the Commissioner within 60 days following the final disposition by agreement, settlement, order, adjudication, or otherwise of such medical negligence claim against the insurance carrier’s insured. Such report shall include the following:
(1) The name of the insured.
(2) A detailed statement of the medical negligence claim asserted against the insured.
(3) A statement detailing the result or final disposition of the claim against the insured, including disclosure of the manner of the resolution or disposition of such claim, the amount ordered, adjudged or agreed to be paid by or on behalf of the insured, the amount paid by such insurance carrier on behalf of the insured as part of that settlement, adjudication or order and the total amount paid by such insurance carrier for attorney’s fees, costs and expenses incurred on behalf of the insured.
(b) Except as otherwise required by this section or § 6821 of this title, information reported to the Commissioner shall be kept confidential, shall not be subject to disclosure to the public pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act (29 Del. C. Chapter 100) or for any other reason, and shall not be subject to subpoena or any other legal process.
(c) A standard form to be used by insurance carriers making reports pursuant to this section shall be created jointly by the Commissioner and the Board of Medical Practice.
(d) The Commissioner shall, on an annual basis, submit to the General Assembly a report that shall not disclose any personal information but which shall provide the following aggregated statistical information:
(1) The number of separate medical negligence claims resolved or disposed of by agreement, by order, or by adjudication during the immediately preceding calendar year;
(2) The type of medical negligence claim made;
(3) The average amount paid in settlement of each such claim or the average amount ordered to be paid; and
(4) The average amount paid by insurance carriers for attorneys’ fees, costs, and expenses incurred in defense of such claims.
Following its submission to the General Assembly, the Commissioner shall make the report submitted pursuant to subsection (d) of this section available to the public and to any medical negligence insurance carrier.”
Approved July 7, 2005