Another state added to liability crisis list

An occasional snapshot of current facts and trends in medicine.

Quick View. Posted March 6, 2006

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Tennessee becomes the 21st state to be declared part of a medical liability crisis.

The AMA in February listed Tennessee in the midst of a medical liability crisis because unaffordable or unavailable insurance has physicians retiring early, giving up performing high-risk procedures or moving to states where the insurance climate is more stable. The list started with 12 states in 2002.

A Tennessee Medical Assn. survey found that 70% of physicians in the state believe there is a shortage of high-risk specialists. "The high cost of our broken legal system is driving up the cost of doing business in Tennessee," TMA President Phyllis Miller, MD, said. "Patients will be left without access to care."

AMA President J. Edward Hill, MD, urged "Tennessee's state and federal lawmakers to consider the example of other states and look to proven remedies when considering medical liability reform." The AMA also added Guam to the map as a territory "showing problem signs." More information is available online (link).

In crisis: Arkansas, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington, West Virginia, Wyoming

Showing problem signs: Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, D.C., Guam

Effective reforms halting crisis: Texas

Currently OK: California, Colorado, Indiana, Louisiana, New Mexico, Wisconsin

Source: American Medical Association

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