The Texan medical community has greatly benefited from the reforms made to the state judicial system through the HB4 bill passed by the Texas State Legislature in 2003. The bill addresses issues such as limits on noneconomic damages, product liability reform; punitive damages, medical liability reform--joint and several liability, and class action reform. The following events took place after the amendments: (1) The American Medical Association dropped Texas from its list of states in medical liability crisis ("Houston Chronicle," 5/17/05); (2) physician recruitment and retention are up, particularly in high risk specialties whereas the malpractice claims are down ("Houston Chronicle," 5/17/05); (3) the five largest Texas insurers cut rates, which will save doctors about $50 million, according to the AMA ("Houston Chronicle," 5/17/05); (4) Texas Medical Liability Trust, the state's largest liability carrier, reduced its premiums by 17 percent ("Houston Chronicle," 5/17/05); (5) Health Care Indemnity, the state's largest carrier for hospitals, cut rates by 15 percent in 2004 (Associated Press, 2/16/05); (6) American Physicians Insurance Exchange and The Doctor's Company also reduced premiums (Associated Press, 2/16/05); and (7) The American Physicians Insurance Exchange saw a $3.5 million reduction in premiums for Texas physicians in 2005. All these events prove that there has been a positive impact of the tort reform on the Texan economy. Active in passing this legislation was the group, Texans for Lawsuit Reforms co-founded by Dick Weekeley. For a ranking of the best and worst tort systems in Ameica by the impartial Pacific Research Institue, go to: http://www.pacificresearch.org/press/rel/2006/pr06-05-11.html .
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