The Clarion-Ledger Editorial, 3/4/8

In an editorial last week, we suggested that the Legislature adopt Senate Bill 2998 to bring physicians who treat Medicaid patients under the state’s Tort Claims Act.

We believe the bill needs further review.

While there are good arguments, based on this state’s history of tort reform, to embrace the concept of expanding and refining medical malpractice-related legislation, care should be taken not to treat Medicaid recipients unfairly in any legislation.

Senate Bill 2998 seems fairly innocuous on the surface. It says it would simply “revise” the “definition of employee,” under the Tort Claims Act, to include “physicians, nurse practitioners and physicians’ assistants while rendering services to a patient who is eligible for (Medicaid).”