TEXAS ALLIANCE FOR PATIENT ACCESS
Judge lets one-of-a-kind 'futile care' law stand
Suit tested statute allowing doctors to suspend life-sustaining treatment
By Todd Ackerman
September 22, 2017 Updated: September 23, 2017 1:23pm
In a victory for Texas' medical community, a Harris County state district judge Friday rejected a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law that allows doctors to withdraw life-sustaining treatment against the wishes of the patient or guardian.
Judge Bill Burke said it would be "a case of throwing the baby out with the bath water" to repeal the controversial 1999 law, enacted in response to doctors' push to eliminate care they believe prolongs suffering in terminal patients. The law, which is unique to Texas, has drawn criticism from some families who say it gives doctors too much power.
Publication ranks Texas second nationally as best place to practice medicine
With rising rates of physician burnout, changing state legislation governing healthcare, and numerous other factors weighing heavily on the profession, many doctors are looking for a change to continue practicing medicine. And for some, a change of location is sometimes the answer.
Read why Physicians Practice ranked Mississippi, Texas, Alaska, California, and Arkansas as standing above the rest in terms of “Best States to Practice”.
2017 Best States to Practice: The Top Five
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Texas ranks second nationally in retention of in-state trained physicians
A letter to the editor in the August 22 edition of Syracuse.com notes that more than half of newly trained doctors are fleeing the State of New York.
The opinion piece reports that New York trains approximately 16,000 medical students each year. Only 45 percent of those newly-trained physicians choose to stay in-state to work.
The latest facts are even more discouraging. According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, only 36.4%--slightly more than a third, of those who received their undergraduate medical education in New York established a medical practice there. That ranks New York, a state with no medical liability reforms, 28th nationally in physician retention.
Meanwhile, California and Texas, two states with comprehensive medical lawsuit reforms, rank first and second nationally, retaining 62.7% and 59.7 of their medical school graduates.
Texas continues to attract large numbers of new physicians
The Texas Medical Board licensed a record 4,719 new physicians for the fiscal year that ended last month. This year’s total is nearly 10% greater than the previous historic high of 4,295 set two years ago.
Texas has licensed 48,908 new physicians since the passage of lawsuit reforms 14 years ago. This equates to 1,283 more new licensees per year than occurred during the medical liability crisis years of 2000-2003.
“The trends are irrefutable,” said Austin internist Howard Marcus, chairman of Texas Alliance for Patient Access. “The number of licenses granted continues at record levels,” he said. “Physicians per capita continue to show significant gains which is no easy accomplishment given our fast-growing population.
Plaintiffs Avoiding Tort Reform
Court decision helps ensure patient access to care across state lines
by JAMES WILLIAMS, DO, MS, FACEP
A recent New Mexico Supreme Court decision has huge professional liability ramifications for physicians treating patients from another state. The March 13, 2017, ruling is of importance to emergency physicians who, under EMTALA, are unable to deny a patient care due to illness, injury, inability to pay, or lack of health history.
The issue at stake in Montano v. Frezza was which state's laws claim legal jurisdiction when a patient who resides in one state (New Mexico, in this case) receives care in another (Texas, in this case).
Change in Percentage of High Risk Specialists
One Hundred and Eighteen Texas Counties See Gains in ER Doctors
Physician Growth Far Exceeds Population Growth
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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...
Study ranks Texas 6th best state for docs, expert points to tort reform
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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