Section 60L: Written notice requirement for actions against health care providers as defined in seventh paragraph of Sec. 60B; time for filing; exceptions; contents; provider's access to medical records; written response
Section 60L. (a) Except as otherwise provided in this section, a person shall not commence an action against a provider of health care as defined in the seventh paragraph of section 60B unless the person has given the health care provider 182 days written notice before the action is commenced.
(b) The notice of intent to file a claim required under subsection (a) shall be mailed to the last known professional business address or residential address of the health care provider who is the subject of the claim.
(c) The 182?day notice period in subsection (a) shall be shortened to 90 days if:
(1) the claimant has previously filed the 182?day notice required against another health care provider involved in the claim; or
(2) the claimant has filed a complaint and commenced an action alleging medical malpractice against any health care provider involved in the claim.
(d) The 182 day notice of intent required in subsection (a) shall not be required if the claimant did not identify and could not reasonably have identified a health care provider to which notice shall be sent as a potential party to the action before filing the complaint;
(e) The notice given to a health care provider under this section shall contain, but shall not be limited to, a statement including:
(1) the factual basis for the claim;
(2) the applicable standard of care alleged by the claimant;
(3) the manner in which it is claimed that the applicable standard of care was breached by the health care provider;
(4) the alleged action that should have been taken to achieve compliance with the alleged standard of care;
(5) the manner in which it is alleged the breach of the standard of care was the proximate cause of the injury claimed in the notice; and
(6) the names of all health care providers that the claimant intends to notify under this section in relation to a claim.
(f) Not later than 56 days after giving notice under this section, the claimant shall allow the health care provider receiving the notice access to all of the medical records related to the claim that are in the claimant's control and shall furnish a release for any medical records related to the claim that are not in the claimant's control, but of which the claimant has knowledge. This subsection shall not restrict a patient's right of access to the patient's medical records under any other law.
(g) Within 150 days after receipt of notice under this section, the health care provider or authorized representative against whom the claim is made shall furnish to the claimant or the claimant's authorized representative a written response that contains a statement including the following:
(1) the factual basis for the defense, if any, to the claim;
(2) the standard of care that the health care provider claims to be applicable to the action;
(3) the manner in which it is claimed by the health care provider that there was or was not compliance with the applicable standard of care; and
(4) the manner in which the health care provider contends that the alleged negligence of the health care provider was or was not a proximate cause of the claimant's alleged injury or alleged damage.
(h) If the claimant does not receive the written response required under subsection (g) within the required 150?day time period, the claimant may commence an action alleging medical malpractice upon the expiration of the 150?day time period. If a provider fails to respond within 150 days and that fact is made known to the court in the plaintiffs' complaint or by any other means then interest on any judgment against that provider shall accrue and be calculated from the date that the notice was filed rather than the date that the suit is filed. At any time before the expiration of the 150?day period, the claimant and the provider may agree to an extension of the 150?day period.
(i) If at any time during the applicable notice period under this section a health care provider receiving notice under this section informs the claimant in writing that the health care provider does not intend to settle the claim within the applicable notice period, the claimant may commence an action alleging medical malpractice against the health care provider, so long as the claim is not barred by the statutes of limitations or repose.
(j) A lawsuit against a health care provider filed within 6 months of the statute of limitations expiring as to any claimant, or within 1 year of the statute of repose expiring as to any claimant, shall be exempt from compliance with this section.
(k) Nothing in this section shall prohibit the filing of suit at any time in order to seek court orders to preserve and permit inspection of tangible evidence.