HBA-BSM S.B. 1106 77(R)BILL ANALYSIS Office of House Bill AnalysisS.B. 1106 By: Bernsen Civil Practices 5/18/2001 Committee Report (Amended) BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE The Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act of Texas (Act) was enacted in 1977 in response to the medical malpractice insurance crisis. Optometrists were not included at the time because the incidence of malpractice suits against optometrists was low, and it was thought that adding them to the Act might increase the number of optometry malpractice claims rather than lower them. Senate Bill 1106 adds optometrists and therapeutic optometrists to the list of health care providers covered by the Act. RULEMAKING AUTHORITY It is the opinion of the Office of House Bill Analysis that this bill does not expressly delegate any additional rulemaking authority to a state officer, department, agency, or institution. ANALYSIS Senate Bill 1106 amends the Medical Liability and Insurance Improvement Act of Texas to include optometrist or therapeutic optometrist in the definition of "health care provider." EFFECTIVE DATE September 1, 2001. EXPLANATION OF AMENDMENTS Committee Amendment No. 1 provides that any motion to extend a deadline to furnish a curriculum vitae of experts or to voluntarily nonsuit an action against a physician or provider must be filed with the court not later than the later of the 180th day after the filing of a health care liability claim or the last day of an authorized extension. If the court does not rule before the expiration of such time period, the 30-day extension is required to be measured from the date of the ruling rather than from the 180th day after the date on which the health care liability claim was filed. The amendment requires a court to grant a grace period of 30 days if the failure of a claimant to comply with a deadline was the result of a clerical, administrative, electronic, or machine error, rather than if the failure was not intentional or the result of conscious indifference but was the result of an accident. If the court grants such a grace period, the amendment requires the court to state on the record or in a written order the factual and legal basis for its decision. If the party producing an expert report utilizes that report to support or oppose a motion for summary judgment or a motion to exclude expert testimony as being scientifically unreliable under the Texas Rules of Evidence, then the amendment requires that the restriction upon such a report be deemed waived. The amendment provides that an objection to the sufficiency of an expert report must be made not later than the 21st day after the date the objecting party receives a copy of the expert report if the expert report is furnished on or before the 150th day after the date on which the health care liability claim was filed. The amendment requires the court to conduct a hearing to determine any objection as soon as practicable after the filing of an objection. In the event the court finds the report to be insufficient, the amendment provides that the claimant shall have 30 days after the order is signed to comply and provide a sufficient report. The amendment provides that no sanctions shall be entered until after the claimant has failed to comply with the order striking the expert report. The amendment provides that a failure to object to the expert report within the time allowed results in a waiver of any deficiencies of the expert report.