Aug 13, 2008

Medical Liability Reform: Podcast TMA

Bring up the subject of tort reform, and physicians are never at a loss for words. After a long and steadfast battle by organized medicine in Texas, physicians and patients won a victory with the 2003 passage of the Medical Malpractice and Tort Reform Act. Subsequently, voters approved Proposition 12, an amendment to the Texas Constitution that ratifies the legislature’s authority to cap noneconomic damages in health care liability cases. Read more about Prop 12, the Texas liability reforms, and how physicians are fighting to preserve the benefits they've brought to Texas patients in the cover story of the August issue of Texas Medicine. Download the show now. In this installment of Podcast TMA, Melissa Garretson, MD, a Fort Worth pediatrician at Cook Children's Medical Center, and David Teuscher, MD, a Beaumont orthopedic surgeon and former chair of TMA's Committee on Professional Liability, talk about the dramatic turnaround they've witnessed in access to patient care and in the physician workforce in Texas. They provide their take on two lawsuits—one recently filed in federal court and the other in state court—that challenge the constitutionality of Texas' $250,000 limit on physician exposure for noneconomic damages, such as pain and suffering. This installment covers:
  • The benefits patients and health care professionals have reaped through tort reform in the past five years;
  • The impact tort reform has had on recruitment of medical specialists in Texas;
  • Trial lawyers' and defense attorneys' quests to overturn the provisions of tort reform;
  • What organized medicine can do to ensure the hard-won provisions of tort reform remain intact and protected; and
  • Attacks on tort reform by opponents in the next legislative session.

Want to Subscribe to Podcast TMA through iTunes? Here's the link. It takes you to the iTunes store. Subscription is free. Catch up on all the old Podcast TMA episodes on the TMA Web site. What's a Podcast, how do I get it, and what do I with it once I have it? (See the short tutorial on the iTunes Web site.)

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