Insurer drops rates after Texas adopts tort reform

The Doctors Company, a medical malpractice insurer based in Napa, CA, reported recently that premiums for new and renewing policyholders in Texas would drop by an average of 18%, a direct response to tort reform adopted by the state in recent years.

Richard E. Anderson, MD, FACP, chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company, released a statement saying, "We congratulate Texas voters for passing reforms which improved the medical malpractice environment ...," and urging other states to follow the same course.

In 2003, Texas passed Proposition 12, a landmark tort reform law capping pain and suffering awards in medical malpractice cases. Proposition 12 stabilized the Texas medical malpractice marketplace and benefited physicians and patients, says Howard Marcus, MD, chairman of the Texas Alliance for Patient Access. "Medical liability reform has resulted in a broader scope of insurance options for doctors," he reports. "Texas has seen a statewide gain of 81 obstetricians, 93 orthopedic surgeons, and 263 emergency medicine specialists since Proposition 12 passed two years ago."

Texas physicians will see premium reductions ranging from 10% to 45.8%, depending upon location of practice, area of specialty, and coverage limits, according to the insurer.

The company noted that its decrease includes significant premium reductions for critical specialties traditionally excluded from insurers' rate reductions including obstetrics and gynecology and neurosurgery.

Sources

For more information on the rate reductions in Texas, contact:

  • The Doctors Company, 185 Greenwood Road, Napa, CA 94558. Telephone: (800) 421-2368. E-mail: info@thedoctors.com. Web: www.thedoctors.com.
  • Howard Marcus, Chairman, Texas Alliance for Patient Access, P.O. Box 684157, Austin, TX 78768-4157. Telephone: (512) 465-1516.