In a case is being closely watched by medical professionals and the legal community, the Florida Supreme Court will hear arguments regarding access to medical malpractice case documents. Initial litigation was filed by the family of Marie Charles alleging she suffered neurological injuries while a patient at two Baptist Medical Center facilities. The hospitals released some documents but refused to provide others.
In a Jacksonville case, the First District Court of Appeal then ruled that a federal statute overrides the state disclosure requirements. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, the Patient Safety and Quality Improvement Act of 2005, 42 CFR Part 3, was designed to improve quality and safety by reducing the incidence of events that adversely affect patients by establishing:
…A framework by which hospitals, doctors, and other health care providers may voluntarily report information to Patient Safety Organizations on a privileged and confidential basis, for the aggregation and analysis of patient safety events.
The AMA, Florida Medical Association, Florida Justice Association and AARP have filed amicus curiae briefs in the October 2016 case.