Medical Malrpractice Liability in Florida

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Liability of Health Care Facilities

(1) All health care facilities, including hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers, as defined in chapter 395, have a duty to assure comprehensive risk management and the competence of their medical staff and personnel through careful selection and review, and are liable for a failure to exercise due care in fulfilling these duties. These duties shall include, but not be limited to:

(a) The adoption of written procedures for the selection of staff members and a periodic review of the medical care and treatment rendered to patients by each member of the medical staff;

(b) The adoption of a comprehensive risk management program which fully complies with the substantive requirements of s. 395.0197 as appropriate to such hospital's size, location, scope of services, physical configuration, and similar relevant factors;

(c) The initiation and diligent administration of the medical review and risk management processes established in paragraphs (a) and (b) including the supervision of the medical staff and hospital personnel to the extent necessary to ensure that such medical review and risk management processes are being diligently carried out.

Each such facility shall be liable for a failure to exercise due care in fulfilling one or more of these duties when such failure is a proximate cause of injury to a patient.

(2) Every hospital licensed under chapter 395 may carry liability insurance or adequately insure itself in an amount of not less than $1.5 million per claim, $5 million annual aggregate to cover all medical injuries to patients resulting from negligent acts or omissions on the part of those members of its medical staff who are covered thereby in furtherance of the requirements of ss. 458.320 and 459.0085. Self-insurance coverage extended hereunder to a member of a hospital's medical staff meets the financial responsibility requirements of ss. 458.320 and 459.0085 if the physician's coverage limits are not less than the minimum limits established in ss. 458.320 and 459.0085 and the hospital is a verified trauma center that has extended self-insurance coverage continuously to members of its medical staff for activities both inside and outside of the hospital. Any insurer authorized to write casualty insurance may make available, but shall not be required to write, such coverage. The hospital may assess on an equitable and pro rata basis the following professional health care providers for a portion of the total hospital insurance cost for this coverage: physicians licensed under chapter 458, osteopathic physicians licensed under chapter 459, podiatric physicians licensed under chapter 461, dentists licensed under chapter 466, and nurses licensed under part I of chapter 464. The hospital may provide for a deductible amount to be applied against any individual health care provider found liable in a law suit in tort or for breach of contract. The legislative intent in providing for the deductible to be applied to individual health care providers found negligent or in breach of contract is to instill in each individual health care provider the incentive to avoid the risk of injury to the fullest extent and ensure that the citizens of this state receive the highest quality health care obtainable.



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