Judge Orders Mediation in Hospital Dispute
Monday, February, 17, 2014
A judge in Kentucky has ordered that mediation be attempted for a lawsuit in the healthcare industry. This news come after a partnership between Kentucky’s two children’s hospitals was announced. The Louisville Kosair Children’s Hospital and the Lexington University of Kentucky Healthcare’s Kentucky Children’s Hospital brought the news last year that they planned to partner together after a meeting where both parties signed a letter of intent.
Following this letter of intent, University of Lousville representatives brought to light concerns over the potential impact with their relationship and ties to Norton Healthcare. Norton Healthcare owns Kosair Children’s Hospital. Opponents of the partnership said that Norton was violating an existing land-lease agreement in their move to join the partnership.
Franklin Circuit Court Judge Thomas Wingate believes that the natural next step is mediation. Healthcare disputes that enter into litigation can be lengthy and costly for all parties involved, putting a lot of strain on jammed court dockets. Mediation and arbitration are becoming increasingly popular options for healthcare dispute resolution. Mediation in particular has many benefits that allow healthcare disputes to be resolved quickly and effectively, allowing parties to focus on what they do best- providing medical care. Rather than being embroiled in long legal battles, third party mediators appointed to healthcare disputes frequently exercise personal experience in the industry to help understand the issues at hand. Unlike attorneys, mediators play the role of conversation facilitator, allowing conflicting parties to work out their dispute in a less formal atmosphere.