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Wednesday, March 28th 2007

A "Good" Problem

This Commercial Goes Nicely With This Story

Texas has a huge backlog of physicians seeking licenses (h/t Kevin, MD).

I’ve actually heard about Texas’ physician licensing application influx from multiple sources, but never attributed it to the success of Proposition 12.

So many doctors are seeking licenses to practice in Texas that the board is facing a certification backlog. As Express-News business columnist David Hendricks recently detailed, the board processed 2,446 licenses in fiscal year 2001. In fiscal year 2006, the number jumped to 4,026.

More doctors who earn their medical degrees in Texas are choosing to stay here. And more doctors from other states are seeking to move here.

Why the change? Historic tort reform in 2003 that capped non-economic damages from malpractice lawsuits at $250,000. Five years ago, the legal climate and skyrocketing malpractice insurance rates made Texas an unattractive place for doctors to make a living. Those rates have dropped by nearly 30 percent since voters approved Proposition 12.

The medical malpractice debate is normally an economic and legal abstraction. But the experience in Texas provides hard evidence that reasonable reforms can have real world consequences that improve access to health care.

So Proud…