Show-Me Tort Reform

Medical Malpractice Reform: The Key to Healthy Missouri Families and Access to Care

The Medical Malpractice Crisis in Missouri

Thanks for a great 2015 White Coat Rally!


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Missouri is facing a healthcare crisis that could result in fewer doctors, higher costs, less access, and an unfair environment for patients and their families if the legislature does not pass medical malpractice reform. On July 31, 2012, the Missouri Supreme Court overturned the state’s limit on non-economic damages in medical negligence cases by ruling the cap violated the right to trial by jury, overturning more than 20 years of precedent. If the Missouri House of Representatives and State Senate do not pass legislation this year, more money will be diverted away from patient care and into the hands of personal injury attorneys.

What Happened Between 2002-2005 When Missouri Had Ineffective Caps on Non-Economic Damages?

– The number of companies writing policies in Missouri dropped from 32 to 8.

–  In 2002, 27% of physicians limited their scope to avoid high-risk patients and procedures.

– In 2004, 49% of physicians admitted the insurance costs caused them to cut staff positions and 28% were compelled to forego updating or acquiring new technology.

– Among neurosurgeons, 53% refused to accept Medicaid patients, 23% refused to accept Medicare patients, and 66% reduced the services they could otherwise provide to their communities.

– By 2004, 1 in 10 Ob/Gyns quit practicing obstetrics due to insurance costs.

What Happened Between 2005 and 2012 When Caps were in Place?

– Missouri gained approximately 1,000 physicians.

– There has been a $44 million decrease in written liability insurance premiums.

– The number of claims filed has fallen 46.9%

– The average indemnity on paid claims fell 20%



Bills of Interest:

House Bill 118: Establishes a statutory cause of action replacing the common law action for damages against a health care provider for personal injury arising out of the rendering of or failure to render health services. Status: Read for second time

Senate Bill 239: Creates a statutory cause of action for damages against health care providers

House Joint Resolution 22: Proposes a constitutional amendment limiting the liability for noneconomic damages and authorizes the General Assembly to adjust the amount as necessary by law. Status: Read for second time.

Senate Joint Resolution 7: This proposed constitutional amendment, if approved by the qualified voters of this state, provides that the right to the determination of punitive damages by a jury shall remain inviolate, except that no award for punitive damages shall be greater than five hundred thousand dollars or five times the net amount of the judgment awarded to the plaintiff against the defendant. Such limitations may be reduced by law, and shall not apply if the defendant pleads guilty to or is convicted of a felony arising out of the acts or omissions pled by the plaintiff. Status: Read for first time.


Tort Reform Coalition

Missouri State Medical Association

Missouri Hospital Association

Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians & Surgeons

Missouri Health Care Association

Missouri Pharmacy Association

Missouri Insurance Coalition

Washington University School of Medicine

Missouri Radiological Society

Leading Age Missouri

Missouri Association of Rural Health Clinics

Missouri Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons

Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists

Missouri Optometric Association

Missouri Society of Pathologists

Missouri Sleep Society

Missouri Dermatological Association

Missouri Association of Nurse Anesthetists

Missouri State Neurological Association

American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Missouri Section

Missouri Academy of Family Physicians

Missouri Ambulatory Surgery Center Association

Missouri Society of Interventional Pain Physicians

Missouri Psychiatric Association

Missouri College of Emergency Physicians

Missouri Organization of Defense Lawyers

Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics

BJC Healthcare

National Federation of Independent Business

St. Louis Area Business Health Coalition

SSM Health

The Keane Insurance Group

Missouri State Orthopaedic Association

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