Creating Health Courts Through Consent

Opportunities and Challenges for a Non-Legislative Approach to Administer Injury Compensation

This product was provided to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation by the grantee organization, Common Good Institute, Inc.

In 2004, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation awarded a two-year grant to Common Good to develop a model for administrative health courts—special courts to handle medical injury litigation. The goal was to develop and build support for an alternative to the current tort system: One that better compensates injured patients, improves the reliability of medical justice and promotes patient safety. The research, development of the prototype, convening of stakeholders and targeted outreach campaign funded in the first phase helped the health court concept to gain traction as a serious bipartisan reform approach. In order to demonstrate the health court concept, legislative authority is needed at the state and/or federal level. Under this project, Common Good, continuing to work in collaboration with the Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH), will: (1) continue its national outreach efforts to maintain health courts as a highly visible and increasingly credible reform alternative; (2) advance initiatives in six selected states to facilitate development of tailored reform proposals; and (3) continue to build a strong evidence base for health courts. Funding to help an individual state and/or jurisdiction implement an administrative health court is not included in this project, but may be considered in a separate request from individual sites. As with the first grant, RWJF funds will not be used by Common Good, HSPH or any subcontractors for the purposes of lobbying.