Real Healthcare Reforms this Session

January 18, 2010 by  

Yes, we can walk and chew gum at the same time.

Lest Arizonans become budget-weary, citizens should know Legislators are working for them on many issues this session – including medical liability reforms that, if passed, will actually reduce health care costs and increase the numbers of physicians and other medical professionals willing to practice medicine here in Arizona.  Unlike the so-called healthcare reforms bills in Congress.

Arizona has a significant physician shortage compared to the national average:  219/100,000 people versus 293/100,000.   And our rural communities fare even worse at 124/100,000.  Our aging and growing population will only compound the problem if the issue is not addressed – and soon.

At least five medical liability (tort) reforms will be debated, and hopefully, passed this session – including:

Among several other medical liability reforms sponsored by Rep. Frank Antenori, HB 2346 and HB 2411,  – capping non-economic damages and reforming punitive damage awards respectively, will help the 93% of physicians who report regularly practicing defensive medicine for their own protection, abandon the habit.

 HB 2062 – tightening requirements for expert witness testimony admissible in court, sponsored by Majority Whip Rep. Andy Tobin, will ensure expert witnesses have expertise in the field about which they are testifying!

Sen. Jack Harper sponsored SCR 1003, a ballot measure removing Arizona’s constitutional prohibition against capping damage awards- paving the way for legislation capping damages.

And a groundbreaking Electronic Health Records liability measure – that doesn’t have a bill number yet – will protect medical professionals from undue liability.

States that have passed these and other tort reforms measures are seeing pronounced  results.  Arizona needs to emulate them. 


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