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Physician coalition launches advocacy campaign for tort reform

A coalition of more than 230,000 medical specialists launched an advocacy campaign recently to demonstrate how the lack of medical liability tort reform has limited patients' access to health care.

The Protect Patients Now campaign in Georgia is designed to raise awareness among the state's citizens about "the growing access-to-health care crisis" and to promote the passage of federal legislation that would place a cap on noneconomic damages in medical malpractice cases. The coalition notes that escalating jury awards and the high cost of defending lawsuits has led to skyrocketing insurance premiums, which, in turn, have forced many physicians to limit or abandon their practices.

The campaign includes a 30-minute television newsmagazine featuring physicians and patients discussing Georgia's "fragile" health-care system, as well as radio and print ads targeting the state's candidates for the U.S. Senate.

The coalition, called Doctors for Medical Liability Reform, includes physician's groups such as ACOG, the American College of Cardiology, and the American College of Emergency Physicians.