FRANKFORT, Ky. -- A Kentucky panel established to review medical malpractice claims before lawsuits can be filed is severely backlogged.
The Courier Journal obtained records through the Kentucky Open Records act that show only 11 percent of 531 claims had been assigned in the Medical Review Panel Act's first year on the books. Findings have been issued in just 3 percent of cases, with another 5 percent withdrawn, settled or dismissed.
The Republican-backed law was aimed at cutting frivolous litigation and the cost of liability insurance for providers.
Kentucky Hospital Association General Counsel Brian Brezosky says a ruling that struck down the act as unconstitutional might be affecting the panel's effectiveness.
The Court of Appeals has allowed the law to go into effect while the state Supreme Court decides whether it is legal.