Mass. Embraces ‘Disclosure, Apology, Offer’ Approach for Med Mal Cases

Original Article: Insurance Journal Aug. 7, 2012

A newly enacted law in Massachusetts will adopt the “Disclosure, Apology, and Offer” approach to help resolve malpractice cases.

The healthcare cost control bill — recently passed by the Massachusetts legislature and signed by Gov. Deval Patrick on August 6 — contains specific language that facilitates an approach of “Disclosure, Apology, and Offer” (DA&O) to address medical malpractice claims.

Under the DA&O model, healthcare professionals and institutions and their insurers disclose to patients and families when unanticipated adverse outcomes occur; investigate and explain what happened; establish systems to improve patient safety and prevent the recurrence of such incidents; and, where appropriate, apologize and offer fair financial compensation without the patient having to resort to legal action.

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