What are the steps for filing a claim with Kaiser for malpractice?

Question:

What are the steps for filing a grievance with Kaiser for malpractice?

Answer:

Kaiser Permanente is one of the nation's largest health care providers, with dozens of hospitals and millions of members. But when Kaiser patients are harmed as a result of sub-standard or negligent medical treatment, their options are limited when it comes to getting compensation for that harm. Kaiser patients can’t just file a medical malpractice lawsuit at the local courthouse.  

As part of their enrollment with Kaiser, all prospective members sign a number of documents. These forms include a binding arbitration agreement. And by signing  this agreement, Kaiser members are making a promise to adhere to a very specific procedure for resolving prospective medical malpractice claims. Basically, if you’re a Kaiser patient and you believe you’ve been harmed by medical negligence -- whether by your primary doctor or some other Kaiser health care professional -- you must follow Kaiser’s out-of-court arbitration process in order to resolve the matter.

In arbitration, both sides of the dispute (represented by their attorneys) make their case before a neutral third party (the arbitrator). There is no jury, and the rules of evidence are more relaxed, but there are aspects of arbitration that are similar to the court process -- including the exchange of information between the parties (discovery) and the presentation of evidence to the arbitrator. Once the arbitrator has heard all the evidence, he or she will make a ruling on whether or not medical malpractice did occur, and if the injured patient is entitled to a damages award, the arbitrator determines the appropriate amount.

Kaiser medical malpractice claims are arbitrated by the Office of the Independent Administrator (OIA), and they must be initiated by a demand for arbitration, which is sent to the OIA, and which must include the patient’s personal information, a description of the incident and Kaiser’s role in causing the alleged injuries, the amount of money being sought by the patient, and more. For more in-depth information, read the article linked below.    

by: , J.D.

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