Skip to main content
Colorado General AssemblyToggle Main Menu
Agency NameToggle Agency Menu

S_JUD_2019A 03/25/2019 02:03:38 PM Committee Summary

PUBLIC
STAFF SUMMARY OF MEETING
SENATE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date 03/25/2019
Attendance
Cooke *
Gardner X
Rodriguez X
Gonzales X
Lee X
Time 02:03:38 PM to 05:46:18 PM
Place SCR 352
This Meeting was called to order by Senator Lee
This Report was prepared by Juliann Jenson
Hearing Items Action Taken
Conf 19-Parole — State Board Of Favorably Refer to Full Senate - Consent Calendar
SB19-165 Referred to Senate Appropriations
SB19-201 Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole - Consent Calendar
Sunset Review Colorado Professional Review Act Committee Discussion Only

X = Present, E = Excused, A = Absent, * = Present after roll call

Conf 19-Parole — State Board Of - Favorably Refer to Full Senate - Consent Calendar


02:04:02 PM  

Kate Siegel Shimko, Director of Boards and Commissions in the Governor's Office, introduced Kristen Hilkey and provided a brief summary of her qualifications to be on the State Board of Parole.  

Kristen Hilkey introduced herself and provided an overview of her experience and background.  

Committee members asked questions about the Parole Board, the workload, and the challenges of serving on it.  They also asked about risk assessment instruments and release guidelines. 

02:16:23 PM  

Committee members inquired as to what other states have model parole boards and release guidelines.

02:17:43 PM  

Tim Lopez, representing himself, spoke in favor of Ms. Hilkey's confirmation.  He discussed the strengths of the Parole Board and suggested that it needs a legislative liaison. 



02:22:02 PM
Motion Refer the appointment of Kristen Hilkey to the Conf 19-Parole — State Board Of to the full Senate with a favorable recommendation and with a recommendation that it be placed on the consent calendar.
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



SB19-165 - Referred to Senate Appropriations


02:22:15 PM  

Senator Rodriguez explained SB19-165, concerning the membership of the State Board of Parole.  He discussed the number of parole hearings and workload and the need for additional State Parole Board members. 

 

02:24:16 PM  

Dianne Trumutola-Lawson, representiong Colorado-CURE, testified in support of the bill.  She discussed the workload of Parole Board members. 

Christie Donner, representing the Colorado Criminal Justice Reform Coalition, spoke in support of the bill.  She discussed workload issues.

Tim Lopez, representing himself, spoke in favor of the bill.  He discussed the need to expand the Parole Board. 



02:28:18 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 19-165 to the Committee on Appropriations.
Moved Rodriguez
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



SB19-201 - Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole - Consent Calendar


02:28:55 PM  

Senators Pettersen and Tate explained SB19-201, concerning the creation of a process by which certain parties to an adverse health care incident may discuss potential outcomes.  Senator Petterson discussed the benefits of bringing adverse parties together when unintended consequences occur.  She stressed there are pathways to better understand what happened without court involvement.  Senator Tate discussed its implementation in Iowa and the associated cost savings.  Committee members asked questions about the process and outcomes.   

 

02:35:14 PM  

Jim Levanthal. representing himself as a medical malpractice lawyer, spoke in opposition to the bill.  He expressed concerns that the bill shields evidence of prior claims from reporting agencies. He raised other issues about shielding doctors' names from the public, lack of reporting requirements to the Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA), and taxable claims.  He distributed an article about physicians prone to malpractice claims (Attachment A).   Mr. Levanthal answered questions from the committee about other applicable provisions in current law and incentives to settle a case.  Physician responsibility and repeat behavior was also discussed.

 

03:01:17 PM  

David Woodruff, representing himself as a medical malpractice lawyer, spoke in support of the bill.  He explained his work representing patients and the litigious nature of medical malpractice suits.  He stressed that the bill gives an opportunity for doctors and patients to enter into a dialogue to find answers and potentially avoid litigation.  The committee discussed caps on damages and DORA reporting requirements for physicians. 

 

03:15:44 PM  

Lorraine Parker, representing herself as a plaintiffs attorney, testified in favor of the bill.  She discussed how the bill provides a less controversial way to resolve cases. 

Jean Martin, representing herself as an attorney and emergency room physician, testified in support of the measure.  She discussed the importance of candor and allowing a physician to discuss the "nuts and bolts" of a situation.  She stressed that the bill does not change other safeguards and protections under current law.  She distributed a handout regarding the National Practitioner Data Bank (Attachment B). 

03:34:39 PM  

Dr. Wilson Pace, representing the Colorado Academy of Family Physicians, testified in support of the bill.  He noted that the bill is about patients and finding a better way to help them resolve siuations with their physicians out-of-court.  He stressed the therapeutic nature of the process and answered questions from the committee. 

Senator Pettersen presented and explained amendment L. 001 (Attachment C). 



03:43:25 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.001
Moved Gardner
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
03:43:48 PM  

Senator Lee compared this bill to restorative justice. 

Senators Pettersen and Tate made closing remarks. 



03:48:08 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 19-201, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole and with a recommendation that it be placed on the consent calendar.
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS



Sunset Review Colorado Professional Review Act - Committee Discussion Only


04:07:16 PM  

Vivienne Belmont, representing DORA, testified in support of the Sunset Review of the Colorado Professional Review Act.  She walked the committee through the report and recommendations prepared by DORA (Attachment D).  She answered questions from the committee about data collection and professional review activities. Karen McGovern, representing DORA, was available to answer technical questions about the program. 

04:11:40 PM  

The committee heard testimony from four medical malpractice trial attorneys who expressed concerns about the Professional Review Act. 

Peter McClenahan, representing the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association (CTLA), spoke in opposition to the Professional Review Act.  He explained how peer review findings are viewed as privileged information by hospitals owned by large corporations to hide wrong-doing. 

 

04:16:49 PM  

Dan Lipman, representing himself as an attorney, testified in opposition to the Professional Review Act.  He discussed hospitals using peer review investigations to keep information away from injured patients.  

04:21:14 PM  

David Woodruff, representing himself as an attorney, testified against the Professional Review Act.  He discussed how patients are significantly impacted by the peer review statute and provided examples of hospitals claiming that peer review investigations are privileged information.  He stressed that hospitals are the only industry entitled to this special protection.   

04:26:27 PM  

Matthew Laird, representing himself as an attorney, spoke in opposition to the Professional Review Act.  He gave an example of being denied access to information under peer review quality management regulations. 

The committee asked questions of the trial attorneys about the industries that use peer review.   Further questions were asked about discovery proceedings, investigations, and privileged information  Discussion followed about a patient's right to know what happened.    

 

04:45:55 PM  

Phil Stahel, representing the Colorado Medical Society (CMS), testified in support of the Professional Review Act.  He discussed the benefits of peer review, including quality of care and confidentiality. 

04:50:20 PM  

Neal O'Connor, representing CMS and the Colorado Chapter of American College of Emergency Physicians, testified in support of the Professional Review Act.  He provided examples of how peer review results in improved patient care.

Jason Kelly, representing CMS, spoke in favor of the Professional Review Act.  He discussed how peer review drives improvement and quality care.

John Conklin, representing CMS, testified in support of the Professional Review Act.   He discussed quality management, standard of care, proximate law, and current standards and guidelines that apply to the protection of facts. 

 

05:05:11 PM  

Hollynd Hoskins, representing the CTLA, testified in opposition to the Professional Review Act.  She explained how peer review does not have a factual exception and suggested the committee add one.   

 

05:12:04 PM  

Robin Valdez, representing himself, testified in opposition to the Professional Review Act.  He provided a personal example of being denied access to files relating to his mother's death because of the peer review shield. 

05:16:32 PM  

Jayla Castille, representing herself, spoke in opposition to the Professional Review Act.  She discussed a misdiagnosis and the lack of follow through with the investigation. 

Kylie Schmidt, representing CTLA, testified in opposition to the Professional Review Act.  She discussed how patients need to seek information through the course of litigation because of peer review privilege. 

05:24:54 PM  

Lorraine Parker, representing CTLA, testified in opposition to the Professional Review Act.  She expressed concerns that the act will be re-enacted without understanding the consequences.  She proposed a factual exception to the act. 

05:28:43 PM  

Anna Taylor, representing herself, testified in opposition to the Professional Review Act.  She gave a personal account of going into septic shock and losing her fingers after being turned away from the emergency room numerous times.  She stressed that she still has no idea what happened due to the shielding of her case files under peer review privilege.

05:43:00 PM  

Yelana Love, Office of Legislative Legal Services, explained LLS NO. 19-0350.01- Amendment #1 regarding Title 12 recodification (Attachment E).



05:43:04 PM
Motion Adopt LLS NO. 19-0350.01 - Amendment #1
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke
Gardner
Rodriguez
Gonzales
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection


05:44:14 PM
Motion Move to introduction the continuation of the Sunset Professional Review Act (LLS NO. 19-0350.01) as amended.
Moved Gonzales
Seconded
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Rodriguez Yes
Gonzales Yes
Lee Yes
YES: 5   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS


05:46:18 PM   The committee adjourned.