Compromise bill on medical malpractice payouts headed to governor’s desk

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SANTA FE, N.M. — A last-minute medical malpractice insurance compromise is heading to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s desk for her signature.

Senate Bill 523 unanimously cleared the House floor Thursday, just about 48 hours after the proposal was first introduced. SB 523 amends the Medical Malpractice Act to cap claims for independent healthcare facilities, such as urgent care, ambulatory surgical centers, and free-standing emergency rooms that are not hospital controlled.

Gov. Lujan Grisham and Senate leaders announced the compromise Tuesday. Democratic Senate Majority Leader Peter Wirth and Republican Minority Leader Gregory Baca had been working together on this bill since a Senate committee set it aside earlier this month.

A couple of versions of this bill died in committee during this session, but the governor said she was confident this version would make it to her desk because it was put together by both sides of the aisle.