New Medical Board Rules to Publicize Information about Physicians and Physician Assistants
The North Carolina Medical Board has published new rules to disclose additional information about physicians and physician assistants. The rules will become effective next spring unless the General Assembly intervenes. The new rules provide the following:
Misdemeanors. The rules require doctors and P.A.s to report to the Board convictions, guilty pleas and pleas of no contest for misdemeanors, including driving under the influence, reckless driving, and any traffic offense involving serious injury or death.
Med Mal Payments. The new rules require doctors and P.A.s to report to the Board malpractice judgments, awards, payments and settlements in excess of $25,000, if the award was entered on or after October 1, 2007.
Publication. The Medical Board will publish (i) the existence of these judgments greater than $25,000, and (ii) the existence of misdemeanor convictions involving offenses against persons, moral turpitude, drugs, alcohol, or public health and safety codes. Medical malpractice judgments and settlements will be published and remain on the Board’s website for a period of seven years. They will identify the physician but not reveal the actual amounts paid or the identities of patients. Convictions will be published and remain on the Board’s website for a period of 10 years.
Legislative Review and Effective Dates. These rules will become effective on the 31st legislative day of the upcoming 2009 legislative session (probably sometime in March), unless, before then, a legislator introduces a bill to disapprove the rules. If that should happen, the rules would be held in abeyance until the General Assembly either (i) passes the bill and kills the rules, (ii) kills the bill and accepts the rules, or (iii) adjourns without passing the bill, which also would allow the rules to take effect.
For more, see 21 N.C. Admin. Code 32X.0101 – .0107; North Carolina Register, vol. 23, pages 685 and 686 (October 1, 2008).