Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Texas considering consolidating its 9 medical boards

In attempt to save $7 million, Texas Gov. Perry proposes the state consolidate its 9 medical boards into 1.   $7 million in savings is a drop in the bucket when the state spends billions on health care.  But will patient safety be impacted?  The Fort Worth Star Telegram reports that "Gov. Rick Perry's proposal to combine nine health professions boards into a single agency has some critics asking whether that would jeopardize patient safety."  Click here for the story.

Because of massive tort reform in 2004, it's almost impossible to sue a health care provider in Texas.  The proponents of tort reform pushed through their bills arguing that frivolous lawsuits were driving up the cost of health care.  Well, after 7 years of tort reform, health care costs continue to explode.  Fraud, in my experience, is the main reason health care costs continue to rise.    

My med mal defense friends tell me that because it's so difficult to sue doctors in Texas, the medical boards have been inundated with complaints by harmed patients who have had the courthouse doors closed to them.   Seems like it doesn't make sense to now start chopping one of the remaining check and balance on bad docs. 

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