Doctors thank House bill for help in ER

Dallas Business Journal

A house bill that passed the Texas Legislature in 2003 is now receiving credit for getting emergency physicians back into the ER.

The Texas College of Emergency Physicians held a press conference in Austin on Tuesday, thanking lawmakers for the passage of House Bill 4 six years ago — a move they credit for establishing the tort reforms needed to revamp medical malpractice suits in a fashion that would encourage more physicians to practice emergency medicine in the state.

The TCEP said Tuesday that medical liability reforms are to be credited for Texas’ recent gains in emergency physicians. The group said data from the Texas Department of State Health Services, the Office of Rural Community Affairs, the Texas Medical Board and Texas Alliance for Patient Access indicate that 76 Texas counties have reported gains in emergency physicians since the bill’s passage — 39 of those counties were previously considered underserved, and 30 were partially underserved in terms of emergency medicine.

Advocates of the bill added that 24 counties that previously had no emergency medicine physician have gained ER-type assistance since the bill’s passage — 22 of these counties are rural. Counties that have added at least one emergency physician since the liability reforms were passed include Cooke, Hood and Montague counties.

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