Oregon’s Medical Malpractice Early Discussion and Resolution Provisions Became Operational On July 1, 2014

162017_132140396847214_292624_nOn March 18, 2013, Oregon’s Governor signed into law Oregon’s so-called Early Discussion and Resolution (“EDR”) proposal that established a voluntary process for health care providers and patients to resolve adverse events without litigation, with the stated goal of enhancing patient safety and to “reduce the volume of malpractice lawsuits, improve patient-provider relationships, and protect a patient’s right to justice.”

The Oregon Patient Safety Commission is the administrator of the process. Under the law, when an adverse health care incident occurs in a health care facility or a location operated by a health care facility, the health care facility may file a notice of adverse health care incident with the Oregon Patient Safety Commission in the form and manner provided by the commission by rule.

If a health care facility files a notice of adverse health care incident, the health care facility must provide a copy of the notice to the patient. A filed notice may not include the name of a health care provider, but the health care facility filing the notice must notify any health care providers involved in the adverse health care incident of the notice.

When an adverse health care incident occurs outside of a health care facility or a location operated by a health care facility, the
health care provider treating the patient or the employer of the health care provider may file a notice of adverse health care incident with the commission in the form and manner provided by the commission by rule.

If a health care provider or employer files a notice of adverse health care incident, the health care provider or employer must provide a copy of the notice to the patient. If an employer files the notice, the notice may not include the name of the health care provider, but the employer must notify each health care provider involved in the adverse health care incident of the notice.

A patient may file a notice of adverse health care incident with the commission in the form and manner provided by the commission by rule. When the commission receives a notice of adverse health care incident from a patient, the commission must notify all health care facilities and health care providers named in the notice within seven days after receiving the notice.

A health care facility or health care provider who files or is named in a notice of adverse health care incident and the patient involved in the incident may engage in a discussion regarding the incident within the time established by the Oregon Patient Safety Commission by rule. The health care facility or health care provider who files or is named in the notice shall notify the patient and all health care facilities and health care providers involved in the adverse health care incident of the date, time and location of the discussion and must reasonably accommodate all persons that wish to attend. The patient and the health care facility or health care provider who files or is named in the notice may include other persons in the discussion.

Within the time established by the commission by rule, the health care facility or health care provider who files or is named in the
notice may communicate to the patient the steps the health care facility or health care provider will take to prevent future occurrences of the adverse health care incident, determine that no offer of compensation for the adverse health care incident is warranted and communicate that determination to the patient orally or in writing, or determine that an offer of compensation for the adverse health care incident is warranted and extend that offer in writing to the patient.

If a health care facility or health care provider makes an offer of compensation, the facility or provider must advise the patient of the patient’s right to seek legal advice before accepting the offer. Except for offers of compensation extended, discussions between the health care facility or health care provider and the patient about the amount of compensation offered must remain oral.

The health care facility or health care provider and the patient may agree to extend the time limit established by rule of the commission but a time limit may not be extended to more than 180 days after the notice of adverse health care incident is filed unless the health care facility or health care provider and the patient also agree to extend the statute of limitations applicable to a negligence claim.

If the patient accepts an offer of compensation, the health care facility or health care provider who made the offer must notify the
commission.

All communications, written and oral, that are made in the course of a discussion and all memoranda, work products, documents and other materials that are prepared for or submitted in the course of or in connection with a discussion and offers of compensation do not constitute an admission of liability, are confidential and may not be disclosed, are not admissible as evidence in any subsequent adjudicatory proceeding (with one exception) and may not be disclosed by the parties in any subsequent adjudicatory proceeding. The exception is that a party may move the court or other decision maker to admit as evidence in a subsequent adjudicatory proceeding a discussion communication that contradicts a statement made during the subsequent adjudicatory proceeding. The court or other decision maker shall allow a discussion communication that contradicts a statement made at a subsequent adjudicatory proceeding into evidence only if the discussion communication is material to the claims presented in the subsequent adjudicatory proceeding. A party may not move to admit expressions of regret or apology that are inadmissible under ORS 677.082.

There are other provisions of the law, which can be read by clicking here

If you may have suffered a serious injury or other significant harm as a result of medical malpractice in Oregon or in another U.S. state, you should promptly consult with a local medical malpractice attorney in Oregon or a medical malpractice attorney in your state who may investigate your medical malpractice claim for you and represent you in a medical malpractice case, if appropriate.

Click here to visit our website or telephone us on our toll-free line (800-295-3959) to be connected with Oregon medical malpractice lawyers or medical malpractice lawyers in your state who may assist you with your medical negligence claim.

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This entry was posted on Thursday, July 10th, 2014 at 8:24 am. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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