655.001(7) (7) "Fund" means the injured patients and families compensation fund under s. 655.27.
655.001(7m) (7m) "Graduate medical education program" means a program approved by the medical examining board that provides postgraduate medical education and training for a person who possesses a diploma from a medical or osteopathic college or who has the equivalent education and experience from a foreign medical school recognized by the Education Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates.
655.001(7t) (7t) "Health care practitioner" means a health care professional, as defined in s. 180.1901 (1m), who is an employee of a health care provider described in s. 655.002 (1) (d), (e), (em), or (f) and who has the authority to provide health care services that are not in collaboration with a physician under s. 441.15 (2) (b) or under the direction and supervision of a physician or nurse anesthetist.
655.001(8) (8) "Health care provider" means a person to whom this chapter applies under s. 655.002 (1) or a person who elects to be subject to this chapter under s. 655.002 (2).
655.001(9) (9) "Nurse anesthetist" means a nurse licensed under ch. 441 or in a party state, as defined in s. 441.50 (2) (j), who is certified as a nurse anesthetist by the American association of nurse anesthetists.
655.001(10) (10) "Patient" means an individual who received or should have received health care services from a health care provider or from an employee of a health care provider acting within the scope of his or her employment.
655.001(10m) (10m) "Physician" means a medical or osteopathic physician licensed under ch. 448.
655.001(11) (11) "Principal place of practice" means any of the following:
655.001(11)(a) (a) The state in which a health care provider furnishes health care services to more than 50% of his or her patients in a fiscal year.
655.001(11)(b) (b) The state in which a health care provider derives more than 50% of his or her income in a fiscal year from the practice of his or her profession.
655.001(12) (12) "Representative" means the personal representative, spouse, parent, guardian, attorney or other legal agent of a patient.
655.001(13) (13) "Respondent" means the person alleged to have been negligent in a request for mediation filed under s. 655.44 or 655.445.
655.001(14) (14) "Self-insurance plan" means a plan approved by the commissioner to self-insure health care providers against medical malpractice claims in accordance with this chapter. A "self-insurance plan" may provide coverage to a single health care provider or affiliated health care providers.
655.001 Annotation Medical malpractice panels: The Wisconsin approach. Kravat. 61 MLR 55.
655.001 Annotation A summary of the new statutes governing medical malpractice. Saichek. WBB Oct. 1986.
655.001 Annotation Recent developments in Wisconsin medical malpractice law. 1974 WLR 893.
655.001 Annotation Testing the constitutionality of medical malpractice legislation: The Wisconsin medical malpractice act of 1975. 1977 WLR 838. See also: State ex rel. Strykowski v. Wilkie, 81 Wis. 2d 491, 261 N.W.2d 434 (1978).
655.002 655.002 Applicability.
655.002(1)(1) Mandatory participation. Except as provided in s. 655.003, this chapter applies to all of the following:
655.002(1)(a) (a) A physician or a nurse anesthetist for whom this state is a principal place of practice and who practices his or her profession in this state more than 240 hours in a fiscal year.
655.002(1)(b) (b) A physician or a nurse anesthetist for whom Michigan is a principal place of practice, if all of the following apply:
655.002(1)(b)1. 1. The physician or nurse anesthetist is a resident of this state.
655.002(1)(b)2. 2. The physician or nurse anesthetist practices his or her profession in this state or in Michigan or a combination of both more than 240 hours in a fiscal year.
655.002(1)(b)3. 3. The physician or nurse anesthetist performs more procedures in a Michigan hospital than in any other hospital. In this subdivision, "Michigan hospital" means a hospital located in Michigan that is an affiliate of a corporation organized under the laws of this state that maintains its principal office and a hospital in this state.
655.002(1)(c) (c) A physician or nurse anesthetist who is exempt under s. 655.003 (1) or (3), but who practices his or her profession outside the scope of the exemption and who fulfills the requirements under par. (a) in relation to that practice outside the scope of the exemption. For a physician or a nurse anesthetist who is subject to this chapter under this paragraph, this chapter applies only to claims arising out of practice that is outside the scope of the exemption under s. 655.003 (1) or (3).
655.002(1)(d) (d) A partnership comprised of physicians or nurse anesthetists and organized and operated in this state for the primary purpose of providing the medical services of physicians or nurse anesthetists.
655.002(1)(e) (e) A corporation organized and operated in this state for the primary purpose of providing the medical services of physicians or nurse anesthetists.
655.002(1)(em) (em) Any organization or enterprise not specified under par. (d) or (e) that is organized and operated in this state for the primary purpose of providing the medical services of physicians or nurse anesthetists.
655.002(1)(f) (f) A cooperative health care association organized under s. 185.981 that operates nonprofit health care plans in this state and that directly provides services through salaried employees in its own facility.
655.002(1)(g) (g) An ambulatory surgery center that operates in this state.
655.002(1)(h) (h) A hospital, as defined in s. 50.33 (2) (a) and (c), that operates in this state.
655.002(1)(i) (i) An entity operated in this state that is an affiliate of a hospital and that provides diagnosis or treatment of, or care for, patients of the hospital.
655.002(1)(j) (j) A nursing home, as defined in s. 50.01 (3), whose operations are combined as a single entity with a hospital described in par. (h), whether or not the nursing home operations are physically separate from the hospital operations.
655.002(2) (2)Optional participation. All of the following may elect, in the manner designated by the commissioner by rule under s. 655.004, to be subject to this chapter:
655.002(2)(a) (a) A physician or nurse anesthetist for whom this state is a principal place of practice but who practices his or her profession fewer than 241 hours in a fiscal year, for a fiscal year, or a portion of a fiscal year, during which he or she practices his or her profession.
655.002(2)(b) (b) Except as provided in sub. (1) (b), a physician or nurse anesthetist for whom this state is not a principal place of practice, for a fiscal year, or a portion of a fiscal year, during which he or she practices his or her profession in this state. For a health care provider who elects to be subject to this chapter under this paragraph, this chapter applies only to claims arising out of practice that is in this state and that is outside the scope of an exemption under s. 655.003 (1) or (3).
655.002(2)(c) (c) A graduate medical education program that operates in this state. For a graduate medical education program that elects to be subject to this chapter under this paragraph, this chapter applies only to claims arising out of practice that is in this state and that is outside the scope of an exemption under s. 655.003 (1) or (3).
655.002 History History: 1987 a. 27; 1991 a. 214; 2005 a. 36, 51; 2009 a. 165.
655.002 Annotation In an action governed by ch. 655, no claim may be brought by adult children for loss of society and companionship of an adult parent; s. 895.04 is inapplicable to ch. 655 actions. Dziadosz v. Zirneski, 177 Wis. 2d 59, 501 N.W.2d 828 (Ct. App. 1993).
655.002 Annotation In an action governed by ch. 655, no recovery may be had by a parent for the loss of society and companionship of an adult child. Wells Estate v. Mt. Sinai Medical Center, 183 Wis. 2d 666, 515 N.W.2d 705 (1994).
655.002 Annotation Chapter 655 does not control all actions against HMO's. It applies only to negligent medical acts or decisions made in the course of rendering medical care. A bad faith tort action may be prosecuted against an HMO that has denied a request for coverage without a legal basis. McEvoy v. Group Health Cooperative, 213 Wis. 2d 507, 570 N.W.2d 397 (1997), 96-0908.
655.003 655.003 Exemptions for public employees and facilities and volunteers. Except as provided in s. 655.002 (1) (c), this chapter does not apply to a health care provider that is any of the following:
655.003(1) (1) A physician or a nurse anesthetist who is a state, county or municipal employee, or federal employee or contractor covered under the federal tort claims act, as amended, and who is acting within the scope of his or her employment or contractual duties.
655.003(2) (2) A facility that is exempt under s. 50.39 (3) or operated by any governmental agency.
655.003(3) (3) Except for a physician or nurse anesthetist who meets the criteria under s. 146.89 (5) (a), a physician or a nurse anesthetist who provides professional services under the conditions described in s. 146.89, with respect to those professional services provided by the physician or nurse anesthetist for which he or she is covered by s. 165.25 and considered an agent of the department, as provided in s. 165.25 (6) (b).
655.003 History History: 1989 a. 187, 206; 1991 a. 214; 2013 a. 241.
655.004 655.004 Rule-making authority. The director of state courts, department and commissioner may promulgate such rules under ch. 227 as are necessary to enable them to perform their responsibilities under this chapter.
655.004 History History: 1975 c. 37; Sup. Ct. Order, 88 Wis. 2d xiii (1979); 1987 a. 27; Stats. 1987 s. 655.004; 1989 a. 187 s. 28.
655.004 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. DC 1, Wis. adm. code.
655.005 655.005 Health care provider employees.
655.005(1) (1) Any person listed in s. 655.007 having a claim or a derivative claim against a health care provider or an employee of the health care provider, for damages for bodily injury or death due to acts or omissions of the employee of the health care provider acting within the scope of his or her employment and providing health care services, is subject to this chapter.
655.005(2) (2) The fund shall provide coverage, under s. 655.27, for claims against the health care provider or the employee of the health care provider due to the acts or omissions of the employee acting within the scope of his or her employment and providing health care services. This subsection does not apply to any of the following:
655.005(2)(a) (a) An employee of a health care provider if the employee is a physician or a nurse anesthetist or is a health care practitioner who is providing health care services that are not in collaboration with a physician under s. 441.15 (2) (b) or under the direction and supervision of a physician or nurse anesthetist.
655.005(2)(b) (b) A service corporation organized under s. 180.1903 by health care professionals, as defined under s. 180.1901 (1m), if the board of governors determines that it is not the primary purpose of the service corporation to provide the medical services of physicians or nurse anesthetists. The board of governors may not determine under this paragraph that it is not the primary purpose of a service corporation to provide the medical services of physicians or nurse anesthetists unless more than 50% of the shareholders of the service corporation are neither physicians nor nurse anesthetists.
655.005(2t) (2t)Subsection (2) does not affect the liability of a health care provider described in s. 655.002 (1) (d), (e), (em), or (f) for the acts of its employees.
655.005 History History: 1985 a. 340; 1987 a. 27; Stats. 1987 s. 655.005; 1989 a. 187; 1991 a. 214; 1993 a. 473; 1995 a. 167; 2001 a. 52; 2005 a. 36.
655.005 Annotation Although not a health care provider, because an unlicensed 1st-year resident physician was a borrowed employee of the hospital where the resident allegedly performed negligent acts, the relation of employer and employee existed between the resident and hospital, and accordingly, the resident was an employee of a health care provider within the meaning of ch. 655 and s. 893.55 (4). Phelps v. Physicians Insurance Company of Wisconsin, Inc. 2009 WI 74, 319 Wis. 2d 1, 768 N.W.2d 615, 06-2599.
655.005 Annotation Chapter 655 does not permit claims other than those listed in ss. 655.005 (1) and 655.007. Because ch. 655 exclusively governs all claims arising out of medical malpractice against health care providers and their employees, and because the legislature did not include bystander claims in s. 655.005 (1) or 655.007, negligent infliction of emotional distress claims arising out of medical malpractice are not actionable under Wisconsin law. Phelps v. Physicians Insurance Company of Wisconsin, Inc. 2009 WI 74, 319 Wis. 2d 1, 768 N.W.2d 615, 06-2599.
655.006 655.006 Remedy.
655.006(1)(1)
655.006(1)(a)(a) On and after July 24, 1975, every patient, every patient's representative and every health care provider shall be conclusively presumed to have accepted to be bound by this chapter.
655.006(1)(b) (b) Except as otherwise specifically provided in this chapter, this subsection also applies to minors.
655.006(2) (2) This chapter does not apply to injuries or death occurring, or services rendered, prior to July 24, 1975.
655.006 History History: 1975 c. 37; 1987 a. 27; Stats. 1987 s. 655.006.
655.007 655.007 Patients' claims. On and after July 24, 1975, any patient or the patient's representative having a claim or any spouse, parent, minor sibling or child of the patient having a derivative claim for injury or death on account of malpractice is subject to this chapter.
655.007 History History: 1975 c. 37, 199; 1983 a. 253; 1997 a. 89.
655.007 Annotation This chapter was inapplicable to a 3rd-party claim based on contract in which no bodily injury was alleged. Northwest General Hospital v. Yee, 115 Wis. 2d 59, 339 N.W.2d 583 (1983).
655.007 Annotation In this section "child" refers to a minor child. An adult child cannot assert a claim based on medical malpractice committed against the adult child's parent. Ziulkowski v. Nierengarten, 210 Wis. 2d 98, 565 N.W.2d 164 (Ct. App. 1997), 95-1708.
655.007 Annotation Section 893.55 (4) (f) makes the limits on damages applicable to medical malpractice death cases, but does not incorporate classification of wrongful death claimants entitled to bring such actions, which is controlled by this section. As such, adult children do not have standing to bring such an action. The exclusion of adult children does not violate equal protection. Czapinski v. St. Francis Hospital, Inc. 2000 WI 80, 236 Wis. 2d 316, 613 N.W.2d 120, 98-2437
655.007 Annotation A mother who suffers the stillbirth of her infant as a result of medical malpractice has a personal injury claim involving negligent infliction of emotional distress, which includes the distress arising from the injuries and stillbirth of her daughter, in addition to her derivative claim for wrongful death of the infant. That the sources of the mother's emotional injuries cannot be segregated does not mean that there is a single claim of medical malpractice subject to the single cap for noneconomic damages. Pierce v. Physicians Insurance Co. 2005 WI 14, 278 Wis. 2d 82, 692 N.W.2d 558, 01-2710.
655.007 Annotation Under s. 895.01 (1) (o) and 895.04 (2), a wrongful death claim does not survive the death of the claimant. In a non-medical malpractice wrongful death case, under s. 895.04 (2) a new cause of action is available to the next claimant in the statutory hierarchy. In a medical malpractice wrongful death case, eligible claimants under s. 655.007 are not subject to a statutory hierarchy like claimants under s. 895.04 (2). However, in a medical malpractice wrongful death case, adult children of the deceased are not listed as eligible claimants and are not eligible because of the exclusivity of s. 655.007, as interpreted in Czapinski. Lornson v. Siddiqui, 2007 WI 92, 302 Wis. 2d 519, 735 N.W.2d 55, 05-2315.
655.007 Annotation The plaintiff's claim that the hospital staff failed to adequately search his wife upon her return to an inpatient psychiatric unit when she carried in a gun and ammunition she used to kill herself alleged negligence in the performance of custodial care, not medical malpractice governed by ch. 655. While the decision to place the patient on the unit involved medical decisions made in the course of rendering professional medical care, the search itself was a matter of custodial care. The staff's search was not the result of special orders nor did it involve the exercise of professional medical judgment. Snyder v. Waukesha Memorial Hospital, Inc. 2009 WI App 86, 320 Wis. 2d 259, 768 N.W.2d 271, 08-1611.
655.007 Annotation A tortfeasor's insurer's subrogation claim against the injured party's doctor asserting that the doctor rendered unnecessary medical treatment for which the insurer was responsible amounts to an action for medical malpractice, which is governed by ch. 655. Neither the tortfeasor nor the insurer are patients or patient's representatives under this section and thus do not have standing to bring a malpractice claim. The application of ch. 655 to bar the insurer's subrogation claim does not violate equal protection guarantees. Konkel v. Acuity, 2009 WI App 132, 321 Wis. 2d 306, 775 N.W.2d 258, 08-2156.
655.007 Annotation Chapter 655 applies only to negligent medical acts or decisions made in the course of rendering professional medical care. To hold otherwise would exceed the bounds of the chapter and grant seeming immunity from non-ch. 655 suits to those with a medical degree. Plaintiff's claims arose from the discriminatory provision of medical care. Chapter 655 does not apply when the provider engages in discriminatory acts on the basis of a patient's disability. Rose v. Cahee, 727 F. Supp. 2d 728 (2010).
655.009 655.009 Actions against health care providers. An action to recover damages on account of malpractice shall comply with the following:
655.009(1) (1)Complaint. The complaint in such action shall not specify the amount of money to which the plaintiff supposes to be entitled.
655.009(2) (2)Medical expense payments. The court or jury, whichever is applicable, shall determine the amounts of medical expense payments previously incurred and for future medical expense payments.
655.009(3) (3)Venue. Venue in a court action under this chapter is in the county where the claimant resides if the claimant is a resident of this state, or in a county specified in s. 801.50 (2) (a) or (c) if the claimant is not a resident of this state.
655.009 History History: 1975 c. 37, 198, 199; 1983 a. 253; 1985 a. 340.
655.009 Annotation Discretionary changes of venue under s. 801.52 are applicable to actions under ch. 655. Hoffman v. Memorial Hospital of Iowa County, 196 Wis. 2d 505, 538 N.W.2d 627 (Ct. App. 1995), 94-2490.
655.01 655.01 Forms. The director of state courts shall prepare and cause to be printed, and upon request furnish free of charge, such forms and materials as the director deems necessary to facilitate or promote the efficient administration of this chapter.
655.01 History History: 1975 c. 37, 199; Sup. Ct. Order, 88 Wis. 2d xiii (1979); 1989 a. 187 s. 28.
655.013 655.013 Attorney fees.
655.013(1)(1) With respect to any act of malpractice after July 24, 1975, for which a contingency fee arrangement has been entered into before June 14, 1986, the compensation determined on a contingency basis and payable to all attorneys acting for one or more plaintiffs or claimants is subject to the following unless a new contingency fee arrangement is entered into that complies with subs. (1m) and (1t):
655.013(1)(a) (a) The determination shall not reflect amounts previously paid for medical expenses by the health care provider or the provider's insurer.
655.013(1)(b) (b) The determination shall not reflect payments for future medical expense in excess of $25,000.
655.013(1m) (1m) Except as provided in sub. (1t), with respect to any act of malpractice for which a contingency fee arrangement is entered into on and after June 14, 1986, in addition to compensation for the reasonable costs of prosecution of the claim, the compensation determined on a contingency basis and payable to all attorneys acting for one or more plaintiffs or claimants is subject to the following limitations:
655.013(1m)(a) (a) Except as provided in par. (b), 33 1/3% of the first $1,000,000 recovered.
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2011-12 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2013 Wis. Act 380 and all Supreme Court Orders entered before Sept. 3, 2014. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after Sept. 3, 2014 are designated by NOTES. (Published 9-3-14)