MBA and Medical Society Launch Groundbreaking Pilot Program
Television, radio, newspaper and other news media from around the Delaware Valley attended an important press conference on March 27 at Abington Memorial Hospital announcing the launch of a landmark medical mediation pilot program. The program is the first of its kind in Pennsylvania to combine the forces of the legal and medical communities and the Montgomery Bar Association is pleased to have helped pave the way.
The pilot program, a joint effort between the Montgomery Bar Association (MBA) and the Montgomery County Medical Society (MCMS) since 2005, embraces a two-tiered approach that will promote early intervention to resolve conflicts related to medical care, with the hope of reducing the hostilities, costs and pain inherent in traditional medical liability litigation.
Panelists at the event included John J. Kelly, MD, chief of staff and chief patient safety officer at Abington Memorial Hospital; Roger Mecum, executive vice president of the Pennsylvania Medical Society; Robert Slota, immediate past president of the MBA; Mark Lopatin, MD, chair of the Mediation Task Force and board member of the MCMS; State Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf, 12th Senate District; and State Representatives Josh Shapiro and Michael Gerber. MBA President Bob Morris was also on hand to answer questions from the media.
Although there has been some progress in the medical liability system in Pennsylvania, doctors and lawyers are still looking for ways to further improve the system. In 2005, former Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice William H. Lamb brought together the MBA and the MCMS to encourage cooperation in disputes about patient care. Since then, they have been working together to explore the use of mediation as an alternative to litigation in the courts in cases of potential medical liability.
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