Health Law Student Spotlight: Charlotte Buys - Health Care Reform's Collateral Consequences

January 10, 2018

We’re proud of our student scholarship at Boyd Law, and Charlotte Buys is a great example. President of the Health Law Society and studying toward the Health Law Concentration, Ms. Buys recently co-authored an article on the “collateral source rule” with Casey W. Tyler, partner at the firm Hall, Prangle & Schoonveld.

Ms. Buys and Mr. Tyler discuss the history and application of the collateral source rule, which prevents defendants from revealing that the plaintiff has received compensation for an injury from an insurance company or other third party. The collateral source rule prevents defendants from escaping liability for the harms they cause, but critics of the rule worry that patients can be “overcompensated” for their harms if they collect from defendants as well as from third parties. Accordingly, many states, including Nevada, have carved out exceptions to the collateral source rule, especially in the context of medical malpractice actions. While these exceptions have been controversial, recent legislative developments, particularly the enactment of the Affordable Care Act and its guarantees of coverage for health care costs, have brought the application of the rule further into question. 

The article illustrates the importance for litigators and courts of keeping abreast of changes in state and national health care legislation since the modifications may affect the collateral source rule, other tort reforms, and related statutory enactments. The article was published in the January issue of Nevada Lawyer magazine, and is entitled “The Affordable Care Act and Nevada’s Collateral Source Rule in Medical Malpractice Actions.”