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Tuesday, July 14, 2020


Robert Oshel

NDAs are particularly harmful to the public in medical malpractice case settlements. NDAs in malpractice settlements prevent the public from learning of dangerous physicians. Analysis of the National Practitioner Data Bank's public use data file shows that only about 1.8% of physicians were responsible for half of all the money paid out for malpractice claims over the past 30 years, and most of the physicians in this 1.8% have multiple malpractice payments in their records. But because of NDAs, malpractice victims usually can't publicly identify these physicians and perhaps save other patients from malpractice. It should be seen as unethical for attorneys to participate in placing NDA's in malpractice settlements because of the foreseeable harm they are likely to cause to other patients.

The National Practitioner Data Bank is prohibited by law from releasing names of physicians with dangerous malpractice records, too -- a law which should be changed.

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