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Looking Forward: Educating New Members About Protecting Patients
With the new Congress soon to be sworn in, Protect Patients Now will be actively engaged in educating new Members and providing their staffs with resources and information about the medical liability crisis and what it means to patients’ access to quality medical care. The priority for all of us must be protecting patients and ensuring that Americans get the best medical care possible.
We want to thank all of those concerned citizens who signed our voter pledge. And we would like to send a special thank you to those in the Senate and on the campaign trail who signed our candidate pledge and helped our nation move forward toward commonsense reform of our broken medical liability system.
Nationwide Audience Hears Reform Message
Over 11 million Americans across the country tuned in to hear plastic surgeon Dr. Phillip C. Haeck in a series of interviews on the patient access to care crisis and the urgent need for reform. Dr. Haeck made a strong case for national medical liability reform, citing the dramatic turnaround in Texas as a result of reforms passed in that state in 2003.
“Texas is the perfect example of where voters made the difference. Before medical liability reform was passed, doctors were fleeing and the state’s health care was in serious crisis. Now doctors are coming back in droves and patients are getting the care they deserve.”
To listen to a sample of Dr. Haeck’s radio interviews, please click here.
Special Report on Texas: A Miracle in the Making
Speaking of Texas… Protect Patients Now has prepared a comprehensive special report on the dramatic turnaround in Texas health care since medical liability reform was passed.
In the debate over medical liability reform, both sides cite academic studies to support their position. While we have plenty of studies to support our position, we at Protect Patients Now believe that real world examples trump theory every time.
In 2003, Texas voters passed Proposition 12, a constitutional amendment that locked in medical liability reform, including unlimited compensation for “economic” damages and reasonable limits on “non-economic” damages. In the three years since then, Texas has been transformed from a state in crisis to a model for national legislation that has been introduced in the U.S. Congress.
Today, those who are trying to reform our national medical liability system must often confront many of the same arguments leveled against Prop 12. For that reason, Protect Patients Now has assembled the information contained in the following report, examining the causes and effects of the medical liability crisis in Texas and documenting the dramatic turn-around that has been called a modern ‘Miracle in the Making.’1
To read the full report, please click here.
New Study Reveals Increase in Severity of Claims
We still follow reports, however, and a new one out by Aon Risk Consultants finds that the severity of medical liability claims continues to increase at a rate of six percent yearly.
To read a summary of the report, “2006 Hospital Professional Liability and Physician Liability Benchmark Analysis,” please click here.
Signs of Improvement
Two crisis states – Ohio and West Virginia – appear to be experiencing the positive effects of medical liability reform.
In Ohio, liability rates declined for the first time in five years, though rates are still much too high. Click here to read the news report.
Meanwhile, since the West Virginia legislature passed reforms in 2001, the number of lawsuits filed against doctors dropped from 279 to 193. To read a full report, click here.
More improvement is needed, but these are positive signs.
1 We wish to thank the Texas Alliance for Patient Access for their help in assembling this study. For those interested in further information, we highly recommend their website at http://www.tapa.info/