Testimony: Senate Health and Welfare Committee
February 6, 2013
James T. Kimbrough
Good afternoon, Madame Chair and members of the committee, my name is Jim Kimbrough. I am the (volunteer) State President for AARP Kentucky. We appreciate the opportunity to speak on behalf of today’s nursing home residents and future generations in opposition to Senate Bill 9.
AARP opposes Senate Bill 9. We believe the solution to improving the quality of care within facilities is not taking away vulnerable persons rights. Kentucky’s General Assembly did the right thing in not moving a similar bill (House Bill 361) forward in 2012. We’re working to make certain they stay the course in the 2013 General Assembly.
Overall, Senate Bill 9 singles out nursing home residents in a misguided effort to limit medical liability awards by requiring any case of abuse or neglect to first go before a panel of appointed lawyers, doctors and other health care professionals.
Senate Bill 9 is wrong for Kentucky and will make it harder for nursing home residents or their families to seek justice and accountability through our court system. Senate Bill 9 would discourage nursing home residents and their families to go to court with a legitimate claim of abuse or neglect.
- Senate Bill 9 will not improve quality of care for nursing home residents.
- Members of the “Review Panel” would be appointed and not elected by the public.
- Nursing home residents must first submit their claim (in writing only, no witnesses) to a panel of doctors, lawyers and other health care providers for review and evaluation before moving to filing a claim of neglect in court.
- Nursing home residents or their families would be charged $110 just to submit their complaint to the “Medical Review Panel.”
It’s unfair to force residents and their families to face a “Medical Review Panel” whose members are appointed from the nursing home industry and may have conflicts of interest.
It’s adds extra burdens and barriers in law for nursing home residents and their families before having their day in court.
It’s wrong to deny nursing home residents “due process” and "justice delayed is justice denied" when it comes to the overwhelmingly elder individuals who may have been injured or neglected in a nursing home.
Thank you for your time and attention on behalf of AARP Kentucky and our 460,000 members statewide. We appreciate the opportunity to present our concerns and opposition to Senate Bill 9. I am glad to answer any of your questions.