HHS offers trial program to resolve med mal claims faster

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In September, the Department of Health & Human Services launched a pilot program to encourage settlements of medical malpractice claims against the agency. The Early Offers pilot program could serve as a model for resolving medical malpractice cases more efficiently, said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson in a news release.

In September, the Department of Health & Human Services launched a pilot program to encourage settlements of medical malpractice claims against the agency. The Early Offers pilot program could serve as a model for resolving medical malpractice cases more efficiently, said HHS Secretary Tommy G. Thompson in a news release.

Under the program, a patient who files a claim against HHS can make an offer to settle the case for a specific amount within 90 days after receiving confirmation that HHS has received the claim. HHS can also make an offer for a specific amount within 90 days. Offers will be screened by an independent third party. If the patient and HHS make offers, and HHS' offer is equal to or greater than the amount requested by the injured patient, the third party will inform them that a settlement has been reached.

The pilot program applies to patients who have been treated by staff of federally funded community health centers overseen by HHS' Health Resources and Services Administration or patients who receive care through Indian Health Service Programs. Participation in the program by any claimant is voluntary.

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