AUSTIN – The Texas Public Policy Foundation marked the eighth anniversary of Proposition 12, the constitutional amendment that implemented medical liability reform, with a new policy brief showing that Texas has added nearly 25,000 new physicians during the last eight years. The brief, “The Texas Model: Improving Health Care Through Tort Reform,” was written by the Foundation’s economic freedom policy analyst Ryan Brannan and is available on the Foundation’s website.

“Prior to 2003…one out of four doctors had a claim filed against them each year,” Brannan wrote. “Even though 85 percent of those malpractice claims failed to reach trial, they still cost an average of $50,000 to defend. And for those that did reach trial, the cost was rising as well, to about $1.4 million.”

In the eight years since the passage of Proposition 12 – which included a $250,000 cap on non-economic damages – Texas has licensed 24,583 new physicians. The number of new physicians licensed in the last four years is 60 percent higher than in the four years before Proposition 12.

“Texas is also seeing doctors return to previously underserved areas,” Brannan wrote. “The number of obstetricians practicing in rural Texas has grown by 27 percent. Twenty-two rural Texas counties have added at least one obstetrician since 2003, including 10 counties that previously had none.”

Ryan Brannan is the economic freedom policy analyst at the Texas Public Policy Foundation.

The Texas Public Policy Foundation is a non-profit, free-market research institute based in Austin.

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