We oppose CSHB 1617 for forcing doctors to make an impossible choice between accepting less-than-cost payment, set by the government, for personal injury cases or being subject to abusive legal discovery and having to defend themselves against insurance companies’ baseless challenges to their medical judgement and charges.
We oppose CSSB 207 because it repeals current state law, subjecting physicians to abusive legal discovery and allowing insurance companies unlimited ability to challenge physicians’ medical judgment and charges.
Physicians are subject to an increasingly unsustainable level of government regulation and control, with the results being burnout, early retirement, and leaving medicine altogether. The current pandemic has only accelerated these trends.
The consequence: patients lose access to timely essential care.
Protecting the Patient-Physician Relationship
The patient-physician relationship is paramount. Patients trust their physicians to provide the best care to alleviate their pain and suffering, repair injuries, and restore function.
Patients should be able to freely choice their physician(s) for care when they have experienced a serious injury because of someone else’s fault or negligence. Anything that limits patient choice of physicians should be rejected.
Preserving Current System of Medical Care & Civil Justice for Acute Injuries
The current system of civil justice determines negligence and fault for injuries as well as appropriate compensation.
In this system:
Accident victims are not forced to use their own health insurance or pay out of pocket to cover care and treatment for injuries suffered due to another’s negligence.
Physicians are able to receive appropriate compensation for the treatment of their patients without the government setting an artificial price on their services.
Frivolous or unfounded challenges to medical charges are not allowed.
Physicians’ time is respected.
Guarding Against Government Rate Setting for Medical Care
Washington is increasingly likely to impose more government control of health care. Physicians need to take a strong stand to protect their ability to determine charges based on their expertise, inputs, and level of patient need and not be forced to accept a one-size-fits-all payment amount.