05/13/2015 // JusticeNewsFlash // (press release)
Texas – Researchers in Texas have found that nondisclosure restrictions are an element of many medical malpractice settlements. According to a report by Reuters Health, a study involving a review of University of Texas System health settlements found that an estimated nine in ten included such provisions.
For the study, the authors reviewed 124 settlements from medical malpractice cases completed for 2001-2002, 2006-2007, and 2009-2012 fiscal years. A reported 715 medical malpractice claims were closed and 150 settlements were made during these time frames. Payments made averaged $185,000, ranging in amounts from $500 to $1.25.
Dr. William Sage, of the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, who is lead author of the study, stated of the findings in an email, “We found that habitual practices involving silence and secrecy around medical errors can persist in a well-intentioned academic health system that faces little litigation risk and generally attempts to treat patients fairly and transparently.”
Sage further suggests the findings are indicative of the need for a review of nondisclosure agreements in medical systems on a broader scale stating, “The findings are important because they remind us how concerned professionals can be about reputation and how uncomfortable publicity can make them, even when science and ethics have advanced to favor greater information exchange.”
University of Texas System provides medical malpractice insurance for physicians at multiple campuses in five cities.