North Carolina passes liability protection law for medical directors

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Medical directors of licensed nursing homes cannot be held liable in medical malpractice lawsuits unless the patient involved was under their direct care or suffered from willful or negligent conduct, under a new bill (H.B. 669) passed in North Carolina.

Also, apologies by healthcare providers for adverse medical outcomes from treatments cannot be used as evidence to prove negligence or guilt in medical malpractice claims, the law states.

The new law protects members of quality assurance, medical and peer review committees unless they act in malice or engage in fraudulent activity. Meeting records will not be considered public records, unless they would be available anyway.

This law finally receives approval after the state Senate failed to receive House approval of broader medical malpractice legislation (S.B. 802) before the end of the 2004 legislative session.