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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
Attorney • (703) 584-7277

Mississippi to Limit Damages for Medicaid Patients?

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The Senate of Mississippi has passed legislation that would limit the amount a Medicaid patient could receive from a
physician in a lawsuit for medical malpractice.

The proposal’s supporters say that it will help attract and retain doctors that would serve Medicaid patients. However, critics of the bill say it is unfair to Medicaid patients since it places a restriction on the amount they can receive in damages if harmed or killed by the recklessness of a doctor.

According to Judiciary A Chairman Joey Fillingane (R-Sumrall), all doctors, nurse practitioners, and physicians
assistants would be brought under the Mississippi Tort Claims Act. New limits on damage lawsuits were placed on
awards in damage lawsuits by the 2004 legislation.

However, according to Senator Tom King (R-Petal), the bill’s primary author, the cap didn’t extend to Medicaid
cases, who could currently be sued for up to $1 million. The most a Medicaid patient can receive in a malpractice
suit under the bill is $500,000.

Health care is provided to 568,000 people by the Medicaid program of Mississippi, including children, elders, the
disabled, and the poor. The bill is now headed for the House, where according to Public Health Committee Chairman Steve Holland (D-Plantersville), it will be looked at “with more than a cursory review.”