In the February issue of Healthcare Risk Management, the trusted online publication aimed at risk managers and healthcare professionals, editor Greg Freeman includes an insightful commentary on mediation in healthcare in his article, “Mediation Can Resolve Disputes Faster, at Less Cost Than Litigation.” Smith Anderson partner and health care attorney Robert Shaw, alongside national industry experts, comments on how mediation may be the right strategy for resolving disputes that could otherwise lead to litigation.
In his commentary, Robert shares that mediation can be most appropriate in business disputes, such as those between payors and payees, or even between practitioners and hospitals. With little advantage gained in a jury trial, Robert notes that all parties are typically motivated to resolve the dispute privately.
From a financial perspective, Robert comments that mediation requires not only paying your attorney, but the mediator as well, which includes the preparation of a mediation statement, all of which can be expensive and time-consuming. From a logistical standpoint, the parties involved generally have to physically meet, so if travel is involved that incurs additional expense, which can further hinder the efficiency.
“The cost of mediation can be a stumbling block,” Robert remarks. “Although it is far less expensive than litigation, mediation does require expenses that may cause parties to question why they can’t just hash things out through their lawyers.”
Robert leads Smith Anderson’s Health Care practice and helps health care industry clients untangle the complex web of regulatory, business and litigation risks confronting health care professionals and institutional clients. He has extensive M&A, health care and tax experience, including representation of clients on the buyer side and seller side in mergers and acquisitions, in Medicare and Medicaid audits, tax planning, business transactions, drafting physician agreements and employment agreements, corporate advice and regulatory compliance. Robert also has a robust health care regulatory practice, including advising clients with respect to HIPAA, Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law matters around the country.
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