Physicians' liability insurance premiums have continued to drop
since the passage of Proposition 12 and the state's landmark 2003
health care liability reforms. In the first nine months of 2005
alone, all five of Texas' largest physician insurers announced rate
cuts; together, they will produce roughly $48.6 million in
annualized savings for Texas physicians and greater access to care
for Texas patients. Since the passage of Proposition 12, five
carriers have announced double-digit rate reductions. For the first
time in years, Texas physicians can competitively shop their
policies. Meanwhile, lawsuit filings in most Texas counties have
been cut in half since the passage of the 2003 reforms.
As a result of these improvements, patients' access to physician
services is growing.
Texas physicians have definitely slowed the reduction in
services that had been spurred by the lawsuit abuse crisis.
Some have begun to reinstate critical services.
Before the reforms passed, the ranks of Texas internists,
emergency care physicians, and orthopedic and neurosurgeons
were flat or on the decline. From May 2003 through July 2005,
however, more than 3,000 new doctors established practice in
Texas, many of them serving in those high-risk specialties and
in medically underserved regions of the state.
Some cities are experiencing unprecedented success in
physician recruitment. In the year after reforms were passed,
Corpus Christi added 47 new physicians. That is a stark
contrast to the 40 physicians the city lost in the five
previous years. Similarly, Beaumont saw a net loss of 12
doctors in the 18 months prior to the passage of lawsuit
reform. In the following 18 months, the community gained 21
physicians, including five anesthesiologists and 15 emergency
Protecting the 2003 tort reforms and ensuring no new causes
of action are created for physicians and other health care
Revisiting some of TMA's important health care liability
reforms the Texas Legislature did not pass in 2003.
Subjecting physician testimony in health care liability
cases to Texas Medical Board scrutiny because that testimony
constitutes the practice of medicine.
Texas Alliance for Patient Access. Early Texas Tort Reform
Benefits; July 2005