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Malpractice Report Access Gets Easier in North Carolina

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By Minara El-Rahman on December 15, 2009 8:51 AM

Have you ever wondered if your doctor had a medical malpractice history? Well the North Carolina Medical Board wants you to know. They announced that medical malpractice report access will be available to the general public on its website.

The Raleigh News & Observer reports that the medical malpractice report access is in response to legislation passed by the state's General Assembly that forces the North Carolina Medical Board to publish malpractice payments, misdemeanor and felony convictions, hospital suspensions and discipline by medical boards in other states. The legislation was passed in 2007.

According to the North Carolina Medical Board's press release, some of the information they will be releasing are:

  • Final suspensions or revocations of hospital privileges
  • Final disciplinary orders or actions of any regulatory board or agency, including other state medical boards, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, Medicare or the N.C. Medicaid program
  • Felony convictions
  • Misdemeanor convictions involving offenses against a person, offenses of moral turpitude, offenses involving the use of drugs or alcohol and violations of public health and safety codes.
  • Certain malpractice/professional liability payment information

The North Carolina Medical Board has been under fire for failing to protect patients from unprofessional doctors who may harm them.

While criminal records of doctors were accessible in county courthouses and law enforcement agencies, this expanded effort of the North Carolina Medical Board will help patients gain easier malpractice report access from the comfort of their own home.

However, not everyone is happy with this news. Doctors, hospitals, medical malpractice insurers and lawyers who practice medical malpractice defense law are vehemently opposed to this.

As a result of their lobbying, settlement amounts and patients involved in the malpractice lawsuits will not be disclosed.

There are currently 25 states that allow patients to access medical malpractice reports. Some of these states are: California, Connecticut, Florida, and Illinois.

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