Prodigal State: Tort reform brings doctors back to Texas

OpinionJournal – Cross Country


So what has happened since September of 2003, when the new law went into effect? After years of losing doctors, Texas has added nearly 4,000 since passage of Proposition 12, including 127 orthopedic surgeons, almost 300 anesthesiologists, over 200 emergency room physicians, 146 new obstetricians, 58 neurologists and 24 neurosurgeons. The Texas Medical Board is anticipating some 4,000 applicants for new physician licenses this year alone–double last year’s numbers, and 30% more than the greatest growth year ever.

The threat of lawsuits has been a particular barrier to attracting and retaining pediatric specialists. Since 2003, Texas has gained 20 pediatric cardiologists, 14 pediatric oncologists, almost 50 new perinatologists (obstetricians specializing in high-risk pregnancies), 10 pediatric surgeons and 8 new pediatric endocrinologists.

Medically underserved counties in Texas are benefiting as well. Jefferson, Webb and Victoria Counties, as well as the counties of Cameron and Hidalgo in the Rio Grande Valley, have all experienced an influx of physicians. Additionally, the market for insurance to protect health-care providers against the cost of lawsuits has become more robust and competitive. In 2002 there were only four companies writing policies. Today that number has more than tripled. And all of these trends are expected to continue.

Okay, anecdotes are just that, but these appear to be real numbers. Given that it’s a trend reversal, and the only real change in the Texas healthcare climate has been tort reform, I think that gets the majority of the blame / credit. 

I’m not in love with caps, as it seems quite a blunt axe to solve a complex problem.  However, as no other solution was viable, this is the one we wound up with.

via Jim in Plano, and yes, we still need to take a lunch. 

Sam’s MS 150: Best of Luck, riders!

 I was planning to ride today and tomorrow in the Multiple Sclerosis 150 mile ride here in DFW, sponsored this year by Sam’s Club.  I have a very nice bike, though I’ve been working so much I haven’t gotten a lot of riding in for preparation.  I’m mostly sure I could finish day 1, though day 2 would be a challenge, to say the least.

No matter.  This weekend we’re so shorthanded I have been scheduled on.  I’m not terribly happy about it, but if there’s nobody else, well, then it’s on me.  So, I’ll be there in spirit, if not in person.  I have a nice riding outfit for the team, and I suppose I’ll just wear it while riding for fun (I see a lot of old team jerseys when I ride, so now I’ll join that club, though on a pass).

It may rain, and that’ll be better than the blazing sun I would have predicted.

Good luck, riders, and if you not riding have an extra buck, the MS Society is taking donations.

FatDoctor has a stroke

Fat Doctor: Update

Greetings from UCSF Medical Center, room L872, where I was admitted Friday night with several new strokes, bilateral frontal lobes this time. Turns out my bad mood was nothing but poor perfusion; a few intracranial stents this afternoon should do the trick. Please forgive the brevity of this message. Typing is a challenge with limited use of my left hand.

There are other updates, and she’s had a stenting procedure. Read the site for the rest of the updates.

I’ll add my best wishes to the chorus in her comments for a full and speedy recovery. Though new to me, she blogs with a personal and accessible voice, and we need more like her.

Thanks to DOW for the heads-up.