Study: Physicians reject mediation

January 25, 2011

Physicians are unlikely to participate in mediation of medical malpractice lawsuits, which minimizes the chances that discussion of adverse events and medical errors can lead to improved quality of care, according to a new study.

Physicians are unlikely to participate in mediation of medical malpractice lawsuits, which minimizes the chances that discussion of adverse events and medical errors can lead to improved quality of care, according to the authors of a study published in the Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law.

The authors, Carol B. Liebman from Columbia University; Clyde B. Schechter from Yeshiva University; William M. Sage from University of Texas; and Chris Stern Hyman, Medical Mediation Group, used structured interviews of participants and mediators in 31 mediated malpractice lawsuits involving 11 nonprofit hospitals.

They found plaintiff and defense attorneys were satisfied with the process, as were plaintiffs, hospital representatives, and insurers, but no physicians participated in mediation, despite encouragement to join in the meeting.