|Special points of interest:
Tens of Thousands Sign Protect Patients Now Petition
|Click here to Sign the Petition.
In little over a month, more than thirty thousand new signed petitions have flooded into PPN’s offices in response to our summer direct mail campaign, bringing our total to over 80,000 petitions in support of comprehensive medical liability reform.
“This huge spike in petitions shows that the American people are really getting energized about this issue,” said DMLR Chairman, Stuart L. Weinstein. “With the fall elections on the horizon, candidates need to pay attention. The voters want medical liability reform now.”
If you have not yet signed our petition, please click here to view our newly updated petition page and to add your name to the 80,000-plus Americans who want to protect patients through medical liability reform.
Millions Hear Call for Medical Liability Reform
An audience of almost 6 million listeners tuned in to hear Protect Patients Now spokesperson and emergency physician Dr. Robert Suter talk about how medical lawsuit abuse is imperiling patient access to emergency medical care.
Due to the medical liability climate, Dr. Suter warns, “Hospitals that used to have large numbers of physicians on their call panels [covering]everything from neurosurgery to pediatric emergencies are finding that those specialists will no longer take calls…exposing us all to the inability to get [ER care] for ourselves and those we love.”
To hear Dr. Suter’s radio news release, please click here.
The President Stumps for Medical Liability Reform
As the 2006 campaign heads toward November, the President has taken to the stump to highlight the urgent need for medical liability reform.
In Pennsylvania, in a campaign appearance for Gubernatorial candidate Lynn Swann, President Bush expressed his concern about the deteriorating situation in that state: “The truth of the matter is, many of your doctors are leaving the state or quitting practice…for the sake of good medical care, for the sake of availability and affordability of medicine, we’ve got to end these frivolous and junk lawsuits that are hurting the people of Pennsylvania.”
In Minnesota, the President chaired a doctors’ panel on health care transparency together with HHS Secretary Leavitt and Senator Norm Coleman, laying out a series of critically-need reforms. “These trial lawyers need to back off,” the President said, and the Senate needs to “step up” to the plate and pass medical liability reform.
For an excerpt of the Minnesota panel’s discussion of medical liability, please click here.
Texas Celebrates Prop 12’s Third Anniversary with Historic Rate Cuts
Three years to the day after the passage of Texas’s landmark medical liability reform, Proposition 12, the state’s largest physician insurance carrier announced what is believed to be the biggest medical liability cost reduction in U.S. history — to the tune of $48 million. This was the fourth rate cut by Texas Medical Liability Trust since Prop 12.
The state’s second largest insurer, Medical Protective, followed suit with a 10 percent rate cut, their fourth cut in barely more than a year. Collectively, Texas physicians are due to save a projected 30 percent in liability costs by the next calendar year.
This is even better news for patients, as doctors flood back to the state they once fled and medical specialists in such high-risk fields as neurosurgery, obstetrics and orthopaedic surgery are setting up practice once again in both urban and badly under-served rural regions such as the Rio Grand Valley.
The Texas Medical Board reports that it is being inundated with applications for licenses and is anticipating an extraordinary 38 percent increase in applications for doctors’ licenses this year.
All in all, a dramatic turn around for a state that used to be called a “judicial hellhole.”
A Tale of Two States
Mississippi, too, has been reaping the rewards of reform. “Plain and simple, tort reform has been one of the best pieces of legislation – and one of the most important – in years,” reports the Hattiesburg American, citing the end to doctor shortages and the return of insurance companies since the passage of medical liability reform two years ago.
Meanwhile, the situation in Florida becomes ever more dire. In a recent survey of fourth-year medical students, 86 percent of those who wanted to become obstetricians said that they planned to practice in another state because of medical liability concerns – not surprising, given the fact that Florida has the most expensive average premiums for OB/GYNS in the nation.
Mississippi is an awfully long drive when you’re in labor.