Magazine article Dispute Resolution Journal

Health Care Commission Issues Recommendations

Magazine article Dispute Resolution Journal

Health Care Commission Issues Recommendations

Article excerpt

The Commission on Health Care Dispute Resolutionestablished by the nation's leading health, legal, and dispute resolution organizations-has recommended that in disputes involving patients, binding forms of dispute resolution should be used only where parties agree to do so after a dispute arises.

The commission was created by the American Bar Association (ABA), the American Arbitration Association (AAA), and the American Medical Association (AMA) last year to develop ADR models and due process standards to provide the public with a fast, just, and efficient system of resolving health care disputes without having to resort to litigation.

The panel issued a set of recommendations for the use of mediation and arbitration to resolve disputes involving patients, doctors, health care providers, managed-care, and health programs in a report released July 31 at the annual meeting of the ABA held in Toronto.

"The work of the commission, completed in a remarkably short period of time, will undoubtedly have a measurable impact in shaping the ongoing public dialogue about the delivery of health care in the nation," said William K. Slate II, AAA president and CEO. "The health care protocol, in particular, will set the standard for the fair and efficient resolution of health care disputes."

Jerome J. Shestack, ABA president, said the report "marks a significant effort to address consumer concerns in finding efficient and cost-effective ways to solve health care disputes." He said the groundbreaking collaboration of the ABA, AAA, and AMA exemplifies the importance of the issue for all Americans.

The commission was co-chaired by Shestack, Slate, and Dr. Percy Wootton, AMA president. Its report is meant to provide guidance to health plans considering the voluntary adoption of ADR programs as a form of external review of plan determinations, and to legislative and regulatory bodies concerning the establishment of standards governing the use of ADR in health plans.

The report focused on private, managed health care programs, noting that at present, there are 140 million Americans covered by some form of private health insurance. Three-fourths of Americans with private health insurance are enrolled in some form of managedcare system. …

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