Friday, October 15, 2010

Texas The Land of Malpractice Reform and Jobs

If I owned Hell and Texas, I’d rent out Texas and live in Hell.

P.H. Sheridan, in a speech at Fort Clark, Texas, 1855

Maybe it’s my imagination, but I have the distinct feeling the Northeast, Washington policy makers, and the national media look down their collective noses at Texas. To them, Texas is the land of cowboy intellect, “All hat and no saddle,” the “incurious “President George W. Bush, the assertive Karl Rove, and conservative insensitivity.

Texas is also the state to which doctors are flocking in record numbers because it passed caps in malpractice rewards in 2003. When I asked Lou Goodman, president of the Physicians Foundation, a national organization representing doctors in state medical societies and president and CEO of the Texas Medical Association of what he was the proudest, he replied.

“ Now being used as a national model, our 2003 tort reform effort falls into the category of a major accomplishment for the state of Texas. That reform put a cap of $250,000 for noneconomic damages for physicians, a $250,000 cap for hospitals, and another $250,000 cap for a second hospital or nursing home. This is referred to as a stacked cap ($250,000 for each party). The total is $750,000, but only $250,000 of that falls on the doctor’s side. “

“This model appeals to legislators, because it’s fair and differentiates among physicians and other providers in the system. The model also helps attract physicians to a state. Before we passed our tort reform, Texas was losing its liability carriers. But now we have 15 or more in the state, all competing for the business.”

“Most important, access to care was shrinking in rural and other underserved areas. But during this past year, the number of physician licenses increased from 2000 to 4000, and physicians—both primary care and specialist--are now settling and practicing in under-served parts of Texas, such at the Rio Grande Valley. The specialists no longer restrict access to high-risk procedures through fear of liability penalties. Patients are getting better care, and highly specialized procedures are being done. This is all attributable to the tort reform legislation.”
Now Texas is known for something else. It is doing better than any other state during the recession in creating jobs. More than half of the net new jobs in the U.S. during the past 12 months were created in the Lone Star State

Here’s how Rich Lowry, editor of the National Review, explains the Texas performance,

“According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 214,000 net new jobs were created in the United States from August 2009 to August 2010. Texas created 119,000 jobs during the same period. If every state in the country had performed as well, we'd have created about 1.5 million jobs nationally during the past year, and maybe "stimulus" wouldn't be such a dirty word.”

“What does Austin know that Washington doesn't? At its simplest: Don't overtax and -spend, keep regulations to a minimum, avoid letting unions and trial lawyers run riot, and display an enormous neon sign saying, ‘Open for Business.’ "

Maybe the Obama administration could learn something from the Texas model, if they could only keep their noses out of the air, and their eyes on the ground.


Grant said...

Hello everyone,

I'm fairly new to Texas (moved to Houston in May). Came down here with no prospects or contacts, from Washington, DC. Made the move for my significant other's parents, although they were no help in getting contacts for a job.

I was overwhelmed at first, with the sheer volume of applications I had to fill out. Keeping track of what I applied to, who I applied with, etc. I had created a website for potential employers to showcase myself to them and try to stand out.

During that process, I eventually put together an A to Z directory of all the landing pages for primarily Texas based companies. I used to to eventually get a job as an accountant with a local newspaper in Houston.

Anyways, sorry for the long story. I had created the website for me, but realized others in a similar situation may be able to use it. So I'm sharing the link with you all;

There is one catch though, I want feedback on the site! What can I do to make it better? Am I missing companies that you'd like to see on there? Are there broken or bad links? Although the design is basic, can I make it easier to navigate some how? Or organize it differently to make it better?

I appreciate any and all feedback. Most of all, though, good luck to you all!


malpractice insurance for health care providers said...

As far as I can see, this surely improved the state of Texas in the field of Medical industry. It seems like it became a role model to other state and has now improved and even attracted numerous physicians and relative organizations to implement the same reform they had in 2003 that changed their status.