The Doctor’s Advocate | First Quarter 2024
Government Relations Report

The Vital Role of Healthcare Practitioners in Advocating for Medical Liability Reform Through Political Action

Elizabeth Y. Healy, Vice President, Government and Community Relations, The Doctors Company

The intersection of healthcare and politics is undeniable, with policy decisions shaping the landscape for healthcare professionals. Healthcare practitioners magnify their influence when they unite in taking political action to support candidates for public office who are aligned with their interests. By pooling resources and allying with like-minded professionals, healthcare practitioners can make a more substantial impact on the political landscape. Political action committees (PACs) serve as vehicles for collective action, allowing contributors to effectively engage in advocacy efforts that promote issues of importance to them.

A Collective Voice for Medical Liability Reform

As a physician-owned medical malpractice insurer, The Doctors Company has been dedicated to advocating on behalf of medical professionals since our founding in 1976. We established The Doctors Company state and federal political action committees (DOCPACs) as fundraising entities that pool member contributions and strengthen our collective ability to advocate for and defend medical liability reforms. Through DOCPAC, our members can also partner with us to become involved in grassroots political activity that drives positive change.

DOCPAC focuses on helping elect or re-elect policymakers who will advocate for laws that enhance the practice environment and promote patients’ access to care. Members who contribute to DOCPAC play a pivotal role in upholding the interests of those caring for patients by providing critical funding to support medical liability reform.

In the current political landscape—in which healthcare policies are continually debated and redefined—having representatives who comprehend the complexities of caring for patients is vital. DOCPAC strategically channels contributions to candidates for public office who demonstrate a commitment to fostering a healthcare system that prioritizes patient access to care, addresses liability concerns, and promotes fair and just resolution to medical liability litigation. Patients benefit from a healthcare system that prioritizes their well-being over excessive legal battles.

Medical liability reform creates a fair and balanced system for compensating patients for legitimate claims while discouraging meritless lawsuits. DOCPAC assists candidates who favor such reforms and work toward achieving a system in which compensation is just and proportionate, addressing the needs of patients without subjecting healthcare practitioners to excessive financial and emotional strain. These types of legislative changes create a more consistent and equitable legal framework for all healthcare practitioners nationwide.

Medical liability costs, including malpractice insurance premiums and legal expenses, contribute to the overall cost of healthcare and divert funding away from patient care. Candidates who are committed to reform can reduce the burden of these costs. DOCPAC helps amplify the collective voice of healthcare professionals, influencing policy changes that may alleviate financial strain on practitioners and, consequently, on the healthcare system as a whole.

The stress and anxiety associated with the threat of medical malpractice lawsuits take a toll on healthcare professionals’ mental and emotional well-being. An environment in which policymakers seek to understand and address the challenges faced by healthcare practitioners can contribute to reducing burnout and enhancing overall job satisfaction. DOCPAC acts as a bridge between healthcare professionals and lawmakers, ensuring that practitioners are adequately represented in the political arena and have an opportunity to participate.

The Stakes Are High

In this election year, the stakes are once again high for healthcare professionals. As the healthcare landscape continuously evolves, decisions made by state legislators and members of Congress have a profound bearing on the daily lives of healthcare professionals and those in their care. Each year, lawmakers consider a wide range of topics relating to healthcare, such as reimbursement rates, prior-authorization rules, workforce issues, telehealth regulations, who can testify as an expert witness in a trial, who can sue a healthcare practitioner, and the amount of damages that can be awarded in a medical liability case.

Your contributions to DOCPAC empower The Doctors Company to engage with lawmakers, participate in issue advocacy efforts, and communicate the unique challenges faced by medical professionals. By helping us to back candidates who prioritize healthcare, members can contribute to the creation of a legislative environment that not only supports their professional interests but also enhances the quality of patient care.

An Investment in the Future

As the 2024 election approaches, the interconnected nature of healthcare and politics necessitates active engagement. Political action serves as a conduit for your participation in the democratic process.

By contributing to DOCPAC, you can actively participate in the election of candidates for public office who understand and champion the unique challenges faced by the medical community. You can ensure that your voice is heard when healthcare policies are formulated—ultimately shaping the future of your profession and the well-being of your patients. Participating in DOCPAC during the 2024 election is a strategic investment in the future of healthcare.

Learn More About DOCPAC and How to Get Involved

Find out more about DOCPAC and how you can help us protect medical liability reforms.

For expert tips on engaging with policymakers, read our article “Driving Positive Outcomes in the Professional Liability Advocacy Arena.” 

Visit our Legislative, Regulatory, and Judicial Advocacy page to learn more about advocacy in your state.

We Appreciate Your Support

Thank you to our members who have contributed to DOCPAC. Your support is crucial in our ongoing fight to advocate for and defend medical liability reforms.

The Doctor’s Advocate is published by The Doctors Company to advise and inform its members about loss prevention and insurance issues.

The guidelines suggested in this newsletter are not rules, do not constitute legal advice, and do not ensure a successful outcome. They attempt to define principles of practice for providing appropriate care. The principles are not inclusive of all proper methods of care nor exclusive of other methods reasonably directed at obtaining the same results.

The ultimate decision regarding the appropriateness of any treatment must be made by each healthcare provider considering the circumstances of the individual situation and in accordance with the laws of the jurisdiction in which the care is rendered.

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