Archives: July 2016

July 2016 Newsletter

New Mexico Legislators Find Solutions to Out-of-State Liability Concerns Patients in New Mexico who seek treatment from neighboring states now have more assurance that care will available to them without physicians feeling threatened by out-of-state liability laws. The change in the law was necessitated following a case where a New Mexico patient who, after receiving treatment in Texas from a Texas physician, brought forward litigation under New Mexico tort laws, which do not include similar tort liability protections as Texas laws. Without addressing the issue, patients faced limits in seeking care from out-of-state physicians. “There were large practices [in Texas] where 60 percent of their patients are from New Mexico, and they were going to stop seeing those patients,” said Randy Marshall, executive director of the New Mexico Medical Society. “Some practices were already turning away patients.” The bill, which took effect earlier this month and sunsets in three years, allows doctors in other states to request patients to sign a form stating that they would file any lawsuits in the state where the treatment was provided. The document would be admissible in court in both the home state of the patient and the state where any lawsuit is filed….

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New law will limit lawsuits on Texas doctors

A medical malpractice lawsuit filed by a New Mexico patient against a Texas doctor could have disrupted care for patients throughout the state, said state Rep. Terry McMillan, R-Las Cruces. Legislation sponsored by McMillan that takes effect Friday will temporarily resolve the issue while the New Mexico Supreme Court considers the case, he said. In 2004, New Mexico resident Kimberly Montano traveled to Lubbock, Texas, to have bariatric surgery at Texas Tech University performed by Dr. Eldo Frezza. She later sued Frezza, who would have had immunity under Texas law because he is employed by the state. But Montano sued in New Mexico courts, arguing that even though the surgery and follow-up treatments were performed in Texas, her subsequent injuries manifested in New Mexico. When the New Mexico Appeals Court agreed with her, doctors throughout Texas threatened to stop seeing New Mexico patients, McMillan said. “Nobody’s malpractice insurance is going to cover another state,” said McMillan, who is the only medical doctor in the Legislature. “They were not going to see New Mexico patients anymore unless we did something.” Randy Marshall, executive director of the New Mexico Medical Society, said some Texas providers had already made the decision to stop seeing New…

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