2017 was a great year at Jackson & Carter. We are thankful for our clients and the opportunity to advocate for them as they continue to make Texas a healthier place for its citizens.
January of 2017 was busy for both Brian and Craig. Brian spent many days at the State Capital as several health care bills were on the front burner at the Texas Legislature. Our firm proudly serves as General Counsel for the Texas Alliance for Patient Access (TAPA). TAPA works relentlessly to preserve the Tort Reforms which have fueled the expansion of medical services in Texas. TAPA’s focus in January was to file a bill that created a more effective and user friendly medical authorization. Brian testified as an expert witness on that bill before the Texas House Committee on Legal Affairs.
Craig headlined a presentation last January at the Texas Hospital Association Annual Meeting on the status of the discrimination provisions contained in Section 1557 of the Affordable Care Act. This presentation was well received as the newly elected President Trump was in the process of revising many of the enforcement provisions in this Obama era legislation. Definitive analysis of what was and what was to come highlighted Craig’s message.
February brought more legislative work to the Firm and an important opportunity to kill a potential bill that would have resulted in individual nurses and other healthcare providers losing their personal immunity from lawsuits under the Texas Tort Claims Act. THA and TAPA arranged for our firm to address the potential bill with key State Legislators and keep it from being filed. Brian also worked on the Federal Healthcare bill as we represented the interests of TAPA Members to insure that if Federal Tort Reform was enacted it would not replace the Texas provisions. Federal Legislation often pre-empts State Legislation and it was important to keep the Texas Reforms intact regardless of what happens in Washington.
March roared in like a lion as Craig and Brian both spoke at the THIE Hot Topics Seminar in Lubbock. Employment law, gun laws, and governance issues were included on the agenda. The Legislature kept rolling along and the Firm testified as a resource witness on several more bills. The Firm also met with Washington Lobbyists as we continued to work for preservation of all Texas Tort Reform Statutes.
April was one of the busiest months of the year with testimony at the State Capital in front of three different legislative committees. We also worked on changing the enabling legislation of a Hospital District Client in need of a different governance structure. This was in addition to a busy litigation schedule and several Hospital District Board training sessions.
May saw the regular session of the Legislature close and the preservation of every Tort Reform Statute in Texas. It also saw us at the Texas Medical Board and the Texas Nursing Board representing healthcare providers in quality of care investigations. This is an area of our practice where we excel even though many of our clients are unaware of our work there.
June was a great month as we worked with an insurance client on strategic planning with their Board. We also filed a Supreme Court brief in a health care liability case and a brief with the Fort Worth Court of Appeals on an insurance claim case. Our work with the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeals is vital to our clients’ interest.
July brought the Legislature back into special session and we once again testified at the Texas House Calendars Committee on the new Do Not Resuscitate Bill. We also attended the THT Conference in San Antonio and saw many of you there.
August found time for a little R&R with our families and us hitting the road to attend numerous Hospital District Board Meetings. If we do not regularly attend your Hospital Board Meeting, please ask us for names of those that have us attend and visit with them to learn the benefits of having us there.
September had us back at the Texas Medical Board to successfully defend a mid-level and then present an oral argument in front of the Fort Worth Court of Appeals. It also kicked-off the Jackson & Carter Fantasy Football League. Ted Shaw, President of the Texas Hospital Association, was ready to defend his championship from the previous year. We greatly enjoy this league with our clients and encourage you to join us as a client and play along as well.
In October our firm spoke at the THIE Hot Topics event in Kerrville presenting on employment law, the DNR statute, and a legislative update.
In November, our firm spoke at the TAPA General Meeting and the American Tort Reform Association Meeting. ATRA is a National organization and other speakers included the American Hospital Association, Ford Motor Company, and Pfizer.
In December, Tess Frazier, THIE President, won the Jackson & Carter Fantasy Football League Championship. We enjoyed time with many of you at year end Board meetings and Christmas Parties. We also began to gear up for what we know will be an exciting 2018!