TEXAS ALLIANCE FOR PATIENT ACCESS
Bill seeking to inflate Texas' med-mal cap first of its kind
SE Texas Record, April 24, 2017
AUSTIN – Since the courts were apparently no help, those wishing to inflate Texas’ medical malpractice cap on non-economic damages are now turning to the state legislature.
Without little to no fanfare, state Rep. Gene Wu (D-Houston) introduced House Bill 719 on Dec. 21, a piece of legislation seeking to collapse the fixed med-mal cap and adjust it for inflation each year.
“This is an issue of fundamental fairness,” said Wu, a private practice attorney. “If there’s no recovery, a lawyer won’t take the case. It’s a matter of justice for people. If people cannot have their grievances settled in the courts, then our system breaks down.”
The prospect of an inflated cap, which was set at $250,000 per medical defendant in 2003, has rallied some groups into action.
HB 270, the Out-of-State Access Provider Bill,
signed into law by New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
New Mexico lawmakers crafted a legislative solution to protect access to medical care for the residents of Eastern and Southern New Mexico. For a Texas health care provider to benefit from the statute, it will be necessary for the health care provider to have in its agreement with the patient a choice of law and choice of forum provision. If the agreement with the patient does not contain such a provision, then HB 270 will not apply.
The footnotes pertain to why we chose to include or exclude language.
This information should be used only in consultation with your attorney, who will advise you on how the language should be crafted for and used by your hospital, nursing home or physician practice.
High court ruling applauded
Albuquerque Journal, March 26, 2017
As a physician in Curry County, I often see the need for rural patients to seek care in nearby Texas. In some cases, care that is available less than an hour away in Texas could mean the difference between life and death.
There is only one hospital with a Level I trauma center that can provide comprehensive service – University of New Mexico Hospital in Albuquerque. New Mexico has no Level II trauma centers to collaborate with UNMH. When patients in rural parts of New Mexico receive emergency treatment and have been stabilized, they have two choices: A 3½-hour drive to Albuquerque, or about half that to two Level I trauma centers in Texas.
That’s why I applaud the New Mexico Supreme Court’s recent decision that recognizes that cross-border medical services in Texas are essential to New Mexico residents. This is the outcome of the court’s ruling that Texas physicians serving New Mexico patients in Texas will be able to serve ...
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Language in the 2003 reforms created a conundrum for lawyers, judges and health care providers when violations of safety standards were alleged. The Texas Supreme Court largely erased that confusion when it handed down the Ross v. St. Luke’s Episcopal Hospital decision May 1, 2015. The following is a discussion of the Ross decision with Texas Supreme Court Justice Phil Johnson.
Supreme Court Justice
The law is what the courts say it is. Twelve years after its passage most elements of Texas' landmark medical lawsuit reforms have been upheld. Some of the medical liability provisions have been adjudicated at an intermediate court only. Click here for a chronology of the more significant decisions rendered by the courts.
By Ted Shaw
The Texas Tribune (Online)
April 20, 2015
In 2003, Texas health care was in full-blown crisis. There were not enough physicians, particularly in high risk, hospital-based specialties, such as obstetrics, neurosurgery and trauma.
Tim Seay, president of Greater Houston Emergency Room Physicians, had grown accustomed to unsuccessfully begging physicians to come to the Houston area. That was before Texas passed health...
The Washington Post
November 4, 2015
A possible unintended consequence of one of health reform's biggest goals — curbing excess health care spending — could be a surge in malpractice lawsuits...
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A recent study found Texas is one of the best states for physicians to practice medicine, a high ranking made possible in part due to the passage of tort...
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