ADR Committee Meeting Minutes
June 3, 2004
Jim Rosenstein, Committee co-chair, opened the meeting with the announcement that his co-chair, David Harwi, was unable to be present because he had suffered a serious bicycle accident earlier in the week (resulting in a broken pelvis in two places and a separated shoulder), from which he is beginning to recuperate. Expressions of support may be sent to him at his home, 2042 Mount Vernon Street, Philadelphia, PA 19130, (215) 235-7711.
Before introducing the meeting�s speaker, Mr. Rosenstein made a number of administrative announcements and circulated various flyers of possible interest to the Committee members.
Next, the Committee was honored to received a presentation by Carl (Tobey) Oxholm III, General Counsel of Drexel University and its corporate affiliate, Drexel University College of Medicine (the Medical College), about its newly adopted program for �addressing disputes arising out of the health care our physicians, midwives and nurses have provided to our patients� (the Malpractice Claims Program).
Tobey explained the environment in which the Medical College found it necessary to institute its Malpractice Claims Program - an environment characterized by (among other things) a combination of high cost of and difficulty in obtaining medical malpractice insurance, threatened medical institutional shut downs and job actions, and disintegrating relationships between patients and their health care providers.
He went on to describe the Medical College�s answer to these challenges - a comprehensive approach to addressing the underlying issues as well as their consequences. Their approach was primarily to form a captive medical professional liability insurance carrier and instituting its Malpractice Claims Program, consisting of an early mediation program, a late mediation program and a litigation program for cases not resolved in either of the others.
The purpose of the early mediation program is to identify potential malpractice claims before they are filed and attempt to resolve them through mediation, so that litigation either will not be instituted or (if instituted) will be settled before significant litigation-related costs are incurred.
The purpose of the late mediation program is to mediate those �medical malpractice cases that are scheduled for trial within six to nine months where we acknowledge there is a potential that the jury will find in favor of the plaintiff�. The Medical College will continue to litigate those cases that are in the �litigation pipeline� and as to which they are confident there is little risk of an adverse verdict.
Tobey explained the details of their early and late mediation programs, both of which are being administered by Health Care Resolutions, LLC, and are described in handouts provided to the Committee members by Mr. Oxholm. In essence, the early mediation program appears to be a typical organizational model while the late mediation program draws heavily on the mediation model developed by the Rush-St.Luke�s Presbyterian Medical Center in Chicago. Both programs are voluntary for the plaintiffs and any other defendants who are not affiliated with the College, and the mediation costs are funded by the Medical College.
The Medical College�s early and late mediation programs have not been operating sufficiently long to enable definitive conclusions to be reached about their effectiveness, but Mr. Oxholm is cautiously optimistic on the basis of positive results to date.
Committee members who did not receive Tobey�s materials but would like to review them should e-mail him or call Jane Ruddell, at Health Care Resolutions, LLC (610-834-8566).
Before adjourning the meeting, it was decided not to hold a meeting on the scheduled July 1 date, since it is unlikely that David Harwi will be sufficiently recovered by then to be able to conduct it, and Mr. Rosenstein will then be out of the country. Consequently, the next Committee meeting will be held on either Aug. 5 or Sept. 2.
The meeting was then adjourned.
Notes prepared by: