Malpractice caps lure docs to Texas

Oct 05, 2007

Medical malpractice award caps in Texas have swollen the ranks of medical specialists and license applications at the state medical board, official said.

Texas voters approved a constitutional amendment capping medical malpractice lawsuit awards four years ago. That has led to doctors from across the country to head to the Lone Star State to set up practice, and taking healthcare to some historically underserved rural areas, The New York Times reported.

The physicians' arrival flooded the medical board's offices in Austin with applications for licenses to practice, nearing 2,500 at last count. Average wait time for a license: about six months.

"It was hard to believe at first; we thought it was a spike," Dr. Donald W. Patrick, executive director of the medical board and a neurosurgeon and lawyer, told the Times of the license application increase. But the trend held.

"Doctors are coming to Texas because they sense a friendlier malpractice climate," he said.

Critics, however, question whether patients are more vulnerable since the cap, the Times said. With reduced malpractice exposure, critics said, many doctors cut back on their insurance coverage, making it more difficult for plaintiffs to collect damages.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Researchers developing an artificial vision system for prosthetic legs to improve gait

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NASA satellite sees a warm winter in the Western US

9 hours ago

While people in the eastern two-thirds of the U.S have been dealing with Arctic Air, the bulge in the Jet Stream over the eastern Pacific Ocean has been keeping the western third of the U.S. in warmer than ...

Antibiotics give rise to new communities of harmful bacteria

10 hours ago

Most people have taken an antibiotic to treat a bacterial infection. Now researchers from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of San Diego, La Jolla, reveal that the way we often think about ...

Recommended for you

Many transplant surgeons suffer burnout

Feb 25, 2015

Despite saving thousands of lives yearly, nearly half of organ transplant surgeons report a low sense of personal accomplishment and 40% feel emotionally exhausted, according to a national study on transplant surgeon burnout

5 tips for handling early-year medical expenses

Feb 25, 2015

The clock on insurance deductibles reset on Jan. 1, and that means big medical bills are in store for some. Patients may be required to pay thousands of dollars before their health care coverage kicks in.

User comments : 0

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.