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Aug 11 2009

Final criteria for malpractice reporting

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A new law signed by Governor Beverly Perdue on June 30, S.L. 2009-217, establishes new criteria for the public reporting of malpractice payments. The new law is part of a package of laws and rules that provides the public with expanded information about physicians and physician assistants.

S.L. 2009-217 requires that malpractice payments or settlements of $75,000 or more that were entered into on or after May 1, 2008, be made public.

Under the law, a payment or settlement made on behalf of a physician or PA must be reported regardless of whether it was made in a lump sum or a series of payments (related to a single incident of alleged malpractice) totalling $75,000 or more. The Board expects less than one percent of its 35,000 physician and physician assistant licensees to have a payment reported when data is posted on the Board's website later this year, based on a preliminary analysis of malpractice data collected to date.

In September, the Board will begin sending notices to all licensees advising them of their obligation to report and/or review malpractice payments and certain other required information that will appear on this website. Physicians and PAs will also be encouraged to expand the range of licensee information included on this site by reporting optional details such as honors and awards, medical service work, special skills and training, expanded details about residency training and other facts. The Board expects the expanded pages to be available to the public in December.

The reporting criteria established by the new law apply only to settled malpractice cases. All malpractice judgments or awards affecting or involving the physician or physician assistant will be made public, regardless of amount.

The new law requires the Board to report:
  • The date of the judgment, award, payment or settlement

  • The specialty in which the physician or physician assistant was practicing at
    the time the incident that resulted in a payment occurred

  • The city, state, and country in which the incident occurred

  • The date the incident occurred

  • The amount of the judgment, award, payment or settlement will not be posted and the name of the patient involved will remain confidential. Malpractice information will remain on this site for seven years from the date of the judgment, award, payment or settlement.

    Pages that display malpractice information will carry a statement indicating that a payment is not an admission of or evidence of negligence or incompetence on the part of the pracititioner. Licensees with payments will be asked to provide a brief comment that describes the circumstances that gave rise to a payment.

    The Board will also provide additional context by stating what percentage of practitioners in the same area of practice have one or more malpractice payments. Finally, the website will indicate whether a payment led the Board to take public disciplinary action against the licensee.

 Comments on this article:

Governor Perdue, you are to be commended for helping we the public to be better informed when undergoing “the knife” for a medical procedure and now we can
check out the doctor and/or P.A.‘s
track record before making a final

I am VERY impressed with your decision to make this much needed information available to the public - your predecessors were afraid to go there before!

I do hope you will enact VERY strict follow-up review with all doctors, or I suspect many will NOT COMPLY with your new order for fear of losing money.

Do you have procedures in order to check a list of those who indeed were sued against the list who complied with your ruling & reported the info?  If not, please
have your staff prepare one, because I expect many in the medical profession to “File 13” the requested information from you as it does not put them in a good light.

Thank you SO much for doing such a
good job as our new Governor!! I voted for you & am so proud you made it!  Judy Brown

By Judy Brown on Aug 31, 2009 at 5:11pm
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