Healthcare News & Insights

Study: Mediation can reduce malpractice costs, speed resolution

Here’s more proof that mediation can make malpractice cases get resolved faster, and cost health care providers less to defend against.

Mediation has benefits for both parties in the case: Plaintiffs can generally achieve a settlement faster, and it allows both sides to reduce legal expenses. There’s a non-bottom-line benefit as well: Cases resolved through mediation tend to offer more “closure”  and minimize bad feelings on all sides.

But the study did find that how the mediation is approached can make a big difference in its success. For starters, doctors rarely participate in the process — but when they do, the outcome is generally more favorable for all involved.
The study looked at 31 cases between 2006 and 2007 that were brought against not-for-profit hospitals in New York. Seventy percent of the cases were settled during or immediately after mediation. Settlements ranged from $35,000 to $1.7 million.

The study was published in Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

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