Many types of agreements that physicians enter, ranging from insurance policies to patient care agreements, contain arbitration provisions. It is important to carefully consider the implications of those provisions and to be sure that they provide the desired result. Arbitration may not be any more cost effective than litigation, does not have the same procedural protections as litigation regarding admissibility of evidence, etc., and there is little or no recourse in the event of an unfavorable decision. If arbitration provisions are to be used, care must be taken to be sure they are enforceable. The recent Florida Supreme Court case of Franks v. Bowers, (SC11-1258) (June 20, 2013) held an arbitration provision in a patient financial agreement to contravene public policy as it failed to reflect the terms of the statutory scheme regarding arbitration of medical malpractice claims.
Attorney Chip Koval specializes in health law and has been a member of Dell Graham since March 2013.