Tort reform foes team up to force insurance companies to pay promptly
Trial lawyers and doctors have a long history of acrimony at the Texas Capitol, much of it due to the years-long tort reform debate. But lately, many doctors and hospitals are putting aside hard feelings and are hiring trial lawyers to fight another Capitol powerhouse: insurance companies.
Doctors are being forced to align with people who can champion their cause, and strangely enough, it’s their former nemesis: the plaintiffs’ bar, said Kim Ross, the former chief lobbyist for the Texas Medical Association and a current health care consultant.
The unifying force is the state’s “prompt pay” law — a 2003 measure that requires health insurance companies to pay claims to medical providers and pharmacies within strict timelines, usually 30 days, or face having to pay interest and often serious penalties.
For the past decade, the lobbies for doctors and trial lawyers have fought each other head-on – usually over money.