A malpractice bill that is a top priority of the Florida Medical Association took another step forward Wednesday when it was approved by a House subcommittee, reports the News Service of Florida. The House Health and Human Services Access Subcommittee voted 11-4 to approve House Bill 479, which would put restrictions on out-of-state expert witnesses in malpractice cases and shield hospitals from liability when errors are caused by contracted physicians. “This continues the process of making Florida a physician-friendly state,” said subcommittee Chairwoman Gayle Harrell, R-Stuart. But Orlando trial lawyer Grant Kuvin said malpractice claims have dropped since lawmakers passed a reform law in 2003. At the same time, he said profits have surged for malpractice insurers. “There is no crisis going on right now,” Kuvin said. The bill also has passed the House Civil Justice Subcommittee and still needs to go to the Judiciary Committee.