Healthy Vision 2020
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Healthy Vision 2020
Bringing into focus a clear and distinct view of the rest of this decade in Texas health care. Offering a sharp perception of what lies ahead and what we must change to keep us all healthy.
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WASHINGTON, April 11, 2013: Health Coalition Supports Legislation to Curb Medical Lawsuit Abuse | PRNewswire | Rock Hill Herald Online

WASHINGTON, April 11, 2013: Health Coalition Supports Legislation to Curb Medical Lawsuit Abuse | PRNewswire | Rock Hill Herald Online | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it
/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Health Coalition on Liability and Access today endorsed legislation introduced in the House of Representatives that will curb medical lawsuit abuse and help ensure continued patient access to care.
Texas Medical Association's insight:

Oppose federal preemption of state civil justice reforms

 

For decades, even before Texas passed our landmark medical liability reforms in 2003, medicine has pushed the U.S. Congress to enact national liability reforms based on the Texas and California models. This is a highly partisan issue. Over the years, a number of bills have passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives only to die in the Senate, where personal injury trial lawyers have heavy influence.

 

TMA supports the enactment of fair, federal medical liability reforms because we know the very positive effect of the 2003 Texas reforms: better access to care because of the growing number of physicians relocating to Texas.

 

On the other hand, TMA and other state medical societies also have been extremely diligent in ensuring that any national legislation under consideration — including pushes for federal tort reform — doesn’t reverse or supersede stronger laws already on the books in state capitals around the country. Physicians also remain vigilant about laws that would, intentionally or not, introduce new legal reasons — known as “causes of action” — for people to sue physicians.

 

Both of those issues came to play during the 2009 congressional debate over the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA). Several members of the Texas delegation in Washington took steps to make certain that the PPACA would neither overstep Texas’ liability reforms nor create new causes of action against physicians.

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Medical Liability Climate Hurts Patients and Ob-Gyns

 

The medical liability climate continues to force ob-gyns across the US to reduce gynecologic surgeries, drop obstetrics, move their practice out of state, or abandon private practice to become hospital employees, according to the latest survey data released by The American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). Survey results show that the near-universal fear of lawsuits coupled with the high cost of liability insurance not only negatively affects ob-gyns, but also harms patients and adversely impacts the entire health care system.

 

For decades, even before Texas passed our landmark medical liability reforms in 2003, medicine has pushed the U.S. Congress to enact national liability reforms based on the Texas and California models. This is a highly partisan issue. Over the years, a number of bills have passed the Republican-controlled House of Representatives only to die in the Senate, where personal injury trial lawyers have heavy influence.

 

TMA supports the enactment of fair, federal medical liability reforms because we know the very positive effect of the 2003 Texas reforms: better access to care because of the growing number of physicians relocating to Texas.

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Tort reform has had just the impact we desired

Tort reform has had just the impact we desired | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

In 2003, Texas was facing a real crisis, one that we met with a specific solution.

 

Texas Gov. Rick Perry describes the benefits of Texas' 2003 medical liability reforms and why we need to steadfastly defend them 

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Docs win most liability suits, but road is long

"Liability claims against U.S. doctors are often dismissed, and when they go to trial, the verdict is usually in the doctor's favor, according to a new study."

 

Texas' 2003 health care liability reforms have worked. They’ve lived up to their promise. Sick and injured Texans have more physicians to deliver the care they need, particularly in high-risk specialties like emergency medicine, obstetrics, neurosurgery, and pediatric intensive care. Physicians also have benefited from much lower liability insurance rates and fewer non-meritorious lawsuit filings.

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The Presidential Candidates' Health Care Liability Policy Positions

Courtesy of PIAA, the Physician Insurers Association of America:

 

With Election Day approaching, the PIAA offers the following overview of the Presidential candidates’ MPL (medical professional liability) policy positions.

 

Barack Obama - The President has discussed the need to reform our liability system for many years. In a now-famous speech to the American Medical Association, he acknowledged that “doctors feel like they’re constantly looking over their shoulders for fear of lawsuits,” while dismissing the idea of caps on non-economic damages and characterizing them as “unfair.” Subsequently, his administration provided $25 million for state demonstration projects and planning grants to explore new reform concepts. His signature healthcare law included $50 million for additional demonstration projects, although a patient opt-out provision all but guaranteed the initiative would fail, even if it was eventually funded (which it wasn’t). In his 2012 budget request, he sought $250 million to encourage states to enact “alternative” reforms, but the Senate rejected his overall budget plan by a vote of 97-0.

 

Mitt Romney - The former Massachusetts governor lists “medical malpractice reform” as one of the key elements in his solution to the nation’s healthcare issues, and in fact included it in a list of his top five healthcare priorities. Specifically, he advocates for a federal cap on non-economic damages as the most important element in MPL reform. In addition, he promotes the use of federal “innovation grants” for states to explore other reforms, such as health courts and alternative dispute resolution. He held the same positions when he ran for president in 2008.

 

TMA Says:

 

- Protect Texas’ existing medical liability reform laws, including caps on noneconomic damages and protections for emergency services.

-Stop efforts to create new causes of actions against physicians and other health care providers who are delivering evidence-based and clinically appropriate care.

-Oppose federal preemption of state civil justice reforms.

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The Healthy Benefits of Texas Medical Liability Reform « D Healthcare Daily

The Healthy Benefits of Texas Medical Liability Reform « D Healthcare Daily | Healthy Vision 2020 | Scoop.it

It’s clockwork. Nine years ago this week, Texas voters approved our desperately needed medical liability reforms. Just like every other year at this time, the trial lawyers’ propaganda machine is once again trying to convince Texans to ignore the improvements they’re seeing all around them.

I’m pleased to report on some new research that soundly contradicts the naysayers’ rhetoric.

 

In our generation, Texas has taken no more important step to strengthen our health care delivery system than passing the 2003 medical liability reforms. The 2003 law swiftly ended an epidemic of lawsuit abuse, brought thousands of sorely needed new physicians to Texas, and encouraged the state’s shell-shocked physicians to return to caring for patients with high-risk diseases and injuries. As recently reported in The New York Times,[i]however, tort reform is a never-ending political and legislative maneuver in Texas. We cannot relax our guard against direct attacks on the 2003 law, attempts to weaken the Texas Medical Board, nor cynical schemes to turn Texans’ final days into lawsuit battlegrounds


[i] Ramsey, Ross. Fight Over Lawsuits Now Shapes State Politics. The Texas Tribune. March  2012 Available at. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/03/25/us/in-texas-trial-lawyers-and-a-pro-business-group-shape-politics-ross-ramsey.html. Accessed April 2012.

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Medical liability costs seen as a drain on innovation - amednews.com

But private sector health leaders tell a Senate panel that new care delivery reforms could reduce defensive medicine.

 

One more good reason why we must protect Texas’ existing medical liability reform laws, including caps on noneconomic damages and protections for emergency services 

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