TMA to Congress: Protect Texas Tort Reform Gains

TMA President Austin I. King, MD, reached out last week to Congress asking that lawmakers protect hard-won tort reform gains in Texas by not passing federal statutes that could water down or supersede state law. 

Additionally, he asked legislators to support specific bills that would bar any other federal law from establishing a legal standard of care for physicians or health care providers in medical professional liability lawsuits or preempting state medical professional liability laws.

Although medical liability reform was not addressed in the Affordable Care Act, federal law, both under ACA and in statutes predating ACA, contains language that could be construed to create a legal standard of care for health care professionals. 

"These standards that were intended to improve quality and contain costs could have the unintended consequence of impacting tort liability," Dr. King said in a letter last week to U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas). "There are concerns that language in federal health care law will be misinterpreted to create new claims that interfere with existing state medical malpractice laws." 

Dr. King also asked Representative Brady to support the Standard of Care Protection Act that is expected to be reintroduced with support from numerous Texas congressmen and to include language from that act in any Medicare Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) replacement legislation.

The letter was cosigned by Robert Donohoe, president and chief executive officer of the Texas Medical Liability Trust, and Howard Marcus, MD, board chair of Texas Alliance for Patient Access.

Action, March 2, 2015

Last Updated On

June 22, 2016

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