Effects of disclosure initiatives and innovative disclosure-and-offer programs on malpractice costs and patient access to compensation

The Foundation's Investigator Awards in Health Policy Research Program was designed to produce major works from senior and new investigators that would add to the health policy field's knowledge base.The Institute of Medicine's 2000 report, To Err Is Human, and the widespread media attention it received, dramatically increased awareness of the extent of medical mistakes in U.S. hospitals. Since then, a number of states and national quality organizations have adopted policies requiring or encouraging medical professionals to tell patients and families when unanticipated "adverse events" occur. Some organizations and insurers have gone even further by adopting programs through which disclosures of adverse events are accompanied by offers of compensation (known as disclosure and offer or D&O programs). Still, prompt disclosure of medical errors and fair compensation remain the exception rather than the rule. Under this grant, the project principals will seek to understand more fully the effects of disclosure initiatives and innovative D&O programs on malpractice costs and patients' access to compensation. Their project, Responding Justly to Patients Harmed by Medical Care: Disclosure, Compensation, and Litigation, explores how policy levers can be used to make disclosing errors more routine and evaluates the design and effectiveness of D&O programs. Their work should help policy makers better understand the potential of these initiatives and how they might best be integrated into broader medical liability reforms.

Grant Details

Amount Awarded $334,869.00

Awarded on: 5/22/2008

Time frame: 6/1/2008 - 11/30/2014

Grant Number: 63904


University of Washington School of Medicine

325 9th Avenue
Seattle, 98104-2420


Thomas Henry Gallagher
Project Director


Michelle M. Mello
Project Director