North Carolina Medical Board Backs Off Full Scale Medical Malpractice Disclosure

The North Carolina Medical Board voted on Wednesday to modify its grand proposal for posting medical malpractice settlement data online according to the Triangle Business Journal reports.
Now, the North Carolina medical board will post only malpractice settlements of more than $25,000 and will post verdicts only since 2007.

I have more of a problem with the latter change than the former. Doctors in North Carolina protest that many medical malpractice settlements of more than $25,000 are “nuisance cases” and could give health care consumers the false impression that they were settled because of substandard care.

I don’t entirely agree because some doctors only deal with smaller injury issues, but it is still something a patient will want to know about a doctor. Moreover, smart medical malpractice insurance companies don’t settle nuisance cases. All of that said, there are reasonable arguments in response to my “reasonable medical malpractice insurers shouldn’t settle claims that are not strong” argument.

With respect to the latter change, I can’t see the point if the end game is disclosure.

So personal injury lawyers in North Carolina and elsewhere are not accused of being hypocrites, we should push for state and local bar associations to provide the same information to the public about lawyers.

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