Federally Funded Healthcare Clinics

November 9, 2021

One of the first things your attorney will need to do is to determine whether the facility where you received your medical treatment is a federally funded healthcare clinic. It is important to find the answer to this question because as these clinics receive federal funding, their employees including physicians, nurse practitioners, physician’s assistants, and certified nurse midwives are deemed to be federal employees for medical malpractice purposes. That means that they cannot be sued individually but instead, if you have been treated by a medical provider at a federally funded healthcare clinic your case will have to be brought under the Federal Tort Claims Act (FTCA). The FTCA provides a judicial remedy to those who suffer injury or damage because of the negligence of employees of the federal agencies of the United States government. While your FTCA action will apply the law of the state where the negligence occurred, you must nonetheless, prior to filing a medical malpractice lawsuit, also file a claim with the appropriate federal agency. This claim for damage, injury, or death, known as a form SF95 must state the basis for your claim, the nature and extent of each injury that you or your loved one received, and it must also set forth the amount of the claim. A suit cannot be brought against the United States until the appropriate federal agency has either denied your claim or allowed six months to go by after the filing of it. Lawsuits brought under the FTCA must be filed in federal court and these claims are decided by a judge, rather than a jury.