Association News

Historic MICRA Agreement Averts Ballot Fight

On April 27, Californians Allied for Patient Protection, a coalition of health care professionals and organizations including CHA, announced an agreement advancing this week as a legislative proposal to modernize MICRA while maintaining important medical liability protections.

Changes include:

  • Limits on non-economic damages in medical malpractice cases (there is no economic damages limit) will increase from the current $250,000 as follows:
    • Cases not involving a patient death: $350,000 starting Jan. 1, 2023, with an incremental increase over 10 years to $750,000
    • Cases involving a patient death: $500,000 starting Jan. 1, 2023, with an incremental increase over 10 years to $1 million
  • After 10 years, limits will increase by 2% annually
  • The new limits will apply only to cases filed or arbitrations demanded on Jan. 1, 2023, or later, with no retroactive application.

If the proposal passes, a measure on this issue opposed by CHA will not appear on the November ballot, and no future ballot measures will be needed. The proposed ballot measure would have eliminated MICRA protections by creating a new category of lawsuits with no cap on non-economic damages or attorney fees. Since its 1975 passage, MICRA has been extensively disputed, largely over the $250,000 limit on non-economic damages.

CHA will host a webinar on May 3 to explain the agreement details and how hospitals should prepare for the changes, as well as answer any questions.

For additional assistance and other inquiries, email CHA’s Education Department at education@calhospital.org.