As Conrad Murray, the doctor who was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of Michael Jackson and recently released from jail, seeks to regain his Texas medical license, questions have been raised about whether he will ever be able to practice medicine in the U.S.
Some reports have claimed Murray will never practice medicine again in this country because he cannot receive medical malpractice insurance. This claim is incorrect; the laws in Texas, for example, are set up in such a way that as long as Murray regains his medical license from the state, he can receive medical malpractice insurance. In fact, in the event he regains his medical license, the Texas Insurance Code dictates that he cannot be declared ineligible to obtain insurance coverage.
Under the Texas Insurance Code Section 2203.101(b) (found here), in a section on Eligibility for Coverage, one finds the following::
If a category of physicians or health care providers is excluded from eligibility to obtain insurance coverage from the association, the commissioner may determine, after notice of at least 10 days and a hearing, that medical liability insurance is not otherwise available. On that determination, the previously excluded category is eligible to obtain insurance coverage from the association.
The association in reference here is the Texas Medical Liability Insurance Joint Underwriting Association (also referred to as the Texas JUA). Created by law in 1975, the Texas JUA ensures "the availability of medical professional liability insurance to the licensed medical providers and facilities in Texas who are unable to obtain reasonably priced coverage in the standard insurance market" (learn more about the Texas JUA here).
The Texas JUA can decide to initially exclude a provider from obtaining insurance from the association. But what the statute above states is if the healthcare provider is declined medical liability insurance by professional liability admitted carriers in Texas (the standard insurance market) and can show proof of at least two declinations, the previously excluded provider becomes eligible to obtain insurance from the Texas JUA following at least 10 days notice regarding the declinations and a hearing.
To summarize: As long as Murray is able to regain his Texas medical license, the state's insurance code provides him with the right to obtain medical malpractice insurance. If admitted carriers decline his insurance application, and Murray can provide proof of this to the Texas JUA, he can no longer be excluded from obtaining insurance from the association.
If you have any questions about medical malpractice insurance in Texas or any other state, please call 800.634.9513 or fill out this form.