North Carolina Doctor Groups and N.C. Medical Board Disagree on Whether Medical Malpractice Settlements Should Be Made Public

April 4, 2010, by Michael A. DeMayo

The North Carolina Medical Board wants doctors in the state to list online any medical malpractice settlements that they’ve been involved in. Data would include the doctor’s name and the settlement—although the amount of the settlement would not be published. The doctor would also be given the option of posting an explanation for the settlement. The information would remain on the doctor’s profile for seven years.

North Carolina Doctor groups have expressed concern that while they agree that medical malpractice verdicts or notice about whether a doctor has had his practicing privileges revoked should be made available to the public, they don’t think that information about medical malpractice settlements should be published.

North Carolina Medical Society President Dr. Hadley Callaway has suggested that the board investigate the legal settlements first—and if substandard care is proven, then only then should the settlements be listed.

He says that doctors may want a chance to make their case before the NCMB and that just because they settled doesn’t mean they provided poor medical care. Callaway expressed concern that listing explanations for settlements could sound like the doctors were making excuses.

Allowing settlement information to be available to the public could also lead to more lawsuits going forward because doctors may be less willing to settle any medical malpractice claims.

Another doctor, North Carolina Academy of Family Physicians Christopher Snyder says that this proposed rule is unfair. He says that some doctors choose to settle because of pressure from insurance companies and not because they have done anything wrong. However, it is ultimately up to the NCMB to decide whether the information will be posted.

If you have been seriously injured because a hospital, a doctor, or another health care provider was negligent or careless when providing you with medical care, contact our North Carolina medical malpractice law firm to discuss your case.

N.C. Medical Board may put malpractice settlement info online, Triangle Business Journal, April 25, 2008

Malpractice Settlement Data Could Go Online in North Carolina, IHealthBeat.org, May 5, 2008

Related Web Resource:

North Carolina Medical Board

 
 

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