A Comparison of Formal and Informal Dispute Resolution in Medical Malpractice, Issue 4371
National Bureau of Economic Research, 1993 - Actions and defenses - 32 pages
Abstract: In this study we examine the experience of a single large hospital with an informal pre-litigation "complaint" process that resolves some cases outside of the legal system. The empirical results are generally consistent with an information structure where patients are poorly informed about the quality of medical care and the hospital does not know whether particular patients are litigious or not. The complaint process seems to resolve many complaints in a less costly manner than filing lawsuits. Almost half of all complaints are resolved before a lawsuit is filed. The large majority of these are dropped, and they are cases that would likely have been dropped even if they had been initiated as lawsuits. Very few cases are settled with a cash payment to patients before a lawsuit is filed, suggesting that patients must file lawsuits in order to convince the hospital that they are litigious enough to justify a settlement. Cases initiated through the complaint process are not resolved (dropped, settled, tried to a verdict) significantly differently from cases initiated as lawsuits, controlling for observable case characteristics. When settlements of lawsuits occur, the amounts paid do not vary depending on how the case originated, but settlements of complaints are much higher for cases settled after a lawsuit is filed, We conclude that the complaint process is a cost-effective "front-end" for the litigation process that provides information to patients regarding the quality of their medical care and, hence, the likelihood of negligence.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
active incident reports allows the hospital ambiguous analysis based on incident complaint process complaint stage complaint-based complaints or lawsuits consumer price index contact the patient contains a breakdown damage award Danzon dispute resolution process dropped or settled dummy variable E(Dp expected outcome expected value Farber ﬁle complaints ﬁle lawsuits ﬁling a lawsuit incident-report-based informal dispute resolution initiated as lawsuits involving bad lawsuit is ﬁled lawsuit stage lawsuit-based lawsuits dropped lawyers less litigious liability litigation process litigious patients logit model mode of initiation multinomial logit negligence outcome at trial p-value patient relations ofﬁce patient-initiated complaints peaceful patients percent of lawsuits Permanent partial injury Permanent total injury plaintiffs prelitigation quality and severity quality of medical resolved risk management sample savings in legal settlement offers settlements occur severity of damage severity of injury speciﬁc patients statistically signiﬁcant supra note Table temporary injury tion trial outcomes Trial to verdict trial verdict ULTIMATE DISPOSITION