Mediation Saves Time and Money in Med Mal Cases

Side Note: In a study reported in amednews.com, published by the American Medical Association, med mal mediation was found to save physicians both time and money in settling their cases and also resulted in patients getting compensated more quickly. The thirty-one cases referred for mediation were from New York City between 2006 and 2007 and seventy-one percent of the cases were ultimately settled. On average, each med mal mediation took 3.7 hours with an additional six hours for the lawyers to prepare. This is in stark contrast to the 100 hours it would typically take for med mal trial preparation. While all of this is good news, the study authors felt that there were still some missed opportunities. Specifically, the authors lamented that not one physician attended the mediation proceedings. While there can be many understandable reasons for physicians not attending the mediation (hectic schedule, lawyer’s counsel, etc.), the study authors felt that this would not allow for an improvement in physician-patient communication or “lessons” learned to be taken back to their institution.

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Mediation saves time and money in medical liability cases, study says
By Amy Lynn Sorrel, amednews correspondent. Posted Jan. 12, 2011.

Mediation can help mitigate the costs — both emotional and financial — of medical liability lawsuits, according to a recent study. But without participation from physicians — not just their lawyers — other quality improvement benefits that can come from the litigation alternative get lost.

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