Mcare Does Not Mandate Confidentiality in Settlements
Wednesday, August 03, 2016
Posted by: Tom Anapol, Esq.
For years, counsel representing health care providers (and sometimes Mcare employees) has maintained that Mcare mandate the confidentiality of settlement terms as a precondition to settlement. We have long held that mandated confidentiality runs contrary to one of Mcare’s paramount policies of reducing medical errors by identifying problems that impact public safety.
Our lobbying team in consultation with leaders in our association including our Medical Malpractice and Legislative Section Chairs met with representatives of Mcare to share our collective concerns over this unfair policy. I am pleased to confirm that although Mcare’s standard Release contains provisions providing for the confidentiality of settlement terms, confidentiality is NOT mandated by Mcare. Settlement terms may be negotiated among the parties.
Ted Otto, the Executive Director of Mcare, was kind enough to send PAJ a letter memorializing Mcare’s position regarding confidentiality. This letter, as well as Veronica Richards' and Eric Weitz's letter to Secretary Teresa Miller (Pa. Insurance Commissioner), is on PAJ's web site (click here), and has also been posted on the medmal listserv.
We urge you to promote transparency and improve patient safety by insisting on the removal of confidentiality in medical malpractice settlement Releases when appropriate.
On behalf of the Association, thank you Veronica, Eric and our lobbying team for their efforts on this important project.
Tom Anapol, Esq.
President, Pennsylvania Association for Justice