* The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that medical expenses are incurred at the time the services are rendered to the patient. Black’s Law Dictionary defines the term “incurred” to mean “when one suffers or brings on oneself a liability or expense.”
* Section 41.0105 of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code has been interpreted to “trump” the Collateral Source Rule in that it allows the court to look at evidence to determine what has actually been paid or incurred in medical or health care expense recovery cases.
* This interpretation has become accepted as good legal precedent. In Mills v. Fletcher, the 4th Court of Appeals found that plaintiffs cannot recover medical bills that have been adjusted or written off. A federal district court in Houston agreed, holding that the Mills opinion “is a reasonable interpretation of the statute and [we] will follow [it].” The “paid or incurred” provision assures that plaintiffs recover actual out-of-pocket medical expenses.
* The “paid or incurred” provision in the Act should remain intact. Unraveling Texas’ successful tort reform measures would be done at the expense of patients, medical providers, and taxpayers.