Settlements Won’t Keep Doctors out of National Database
Oftentimes, we see that physician’s insurers are hesitant to go to trial if the physician has made glaring medical errors, such as surgical mistakes and medication errors. The insurers will typically favor an out of court settlement. However, as “Medscape.com” reports, this will not keep the physicians out of national databanks that report on malpractice payments.
The recent decision means that when physicians’ insurance pays plaintiffs out of court under their state’s “disclosure, apology and offer” (DA&O) laws, they must still be reported to the federal National Practitioner Data Bank (NPDB).
The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) was responsible for this recent ruling.
Third parties, including medical liability insurers and self-insured hospital systems, are responsible for reporting any malpractice payments made on behalf of a doctor to the NPDB.
Hospitals and healthcare insurers then routinely run checks on the data banks. This can end up leading to a physician being excluded from a hospital, medical staff or health plan network. Hospitals do this to limit the possibility of mistakes that they could be liable for.
Some individuals are claiming that this new ruling will make physicians less likely to take a gentler approach to medical liability, like settling out of court through DA&O laws.
While the results of the new law remain to be seen, it can probably be said that having more insight into a doctor’s medical malpractice and liability history will only serve the public’s interest.
Shapiro Law Group – Medical Malpractice Attorneys Serving the Tampa Bay Area