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How Texas Cured Its Doctor Shortage and Became a Model for Healthcare Reform
Date:11/12/2008

PALM BEACH, Fla., Nov. 12 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- HealthMadeEasy.com: America is facing a medical liability crisis which has resulted in decreased patient access to healthcare and rising health costs. The Pacific Research Institute (a not for profit, nonpartisan organization), was the first to do a detailed study quantifying the total cost of tort litigation in our country. They have calculated that the excessive tort costs in the United States due to lawsuit abuse totals $589 billion each year.

Lawsuit abuse by trial lawyers has been a major contributor to the increasing shortage of primary care physicians (internists, family doctor and pediatricians) and other high risk specialists (neurosurgeons, orthopedic surgeons, obstetricians and general surgeons.) There is no point in talking about increasing healthcare to the 47 million uninsured people or trying to providing "Universal Healthcare" until the doctor shortage problem is resolved first.

The state of Texas faced a similar problem six years ago and now serves as an example of how this problem can be solved. Texas has become a model for medical liability reform, but prior to the passage of medical liability reform, Texas presented a very difficult environment for doctors, hospitals and consumers of healthcare. Frivolous malpractice lawsuits were rampant and doctors were leaving the state in droves. Large numbers of patients whose doctors had left the state could not find replacements and were forced to seek care in emergency rooms. Physicians who remained found themselves overwhelmed trying to keep up with the demand for healthcare and considered joining those who had already left the state.

The numerous medical malpractice lawsuits caused the physicians who remained in Texas to practice "defensive medicine" ordering many more tests and procedures that they would not ordinarily have ordered to evaluate the patient's medical condition in order to protect themselves. Trial lawyers of
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SOURCE HealthMadeEasy.com
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