June 2002 AAOS Report

Patients' bill of rights being negotiated year after passage in Senate

Almost a year ago, the U.S. Senate approved a bipartisan patients' bill of rights. The House followed with a different version of the bill. Instead of proceeding to a conference committee, the White House and Senate leaders have tried to resolve the differences in negotiations. But major differences remain on issues ranging from caps on pain and suffering awards to details on a new external review process to resolve patient complaints before they become lawsuits. Senate negotiators are preparing to give up on the talks and call for a formal House-Senate conference committee, but Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is still trying to overcome the differences on caps. "I know things don't look good, but I want to keep trying," said McCain.

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