A Comment on the Collaborative Planning Model

Published in: Advances in Mind-Body Medicine, v. 15, no. 2, 1999, p. 101-103

Posted on RAND.org on January 01, 1999

by David M. Studdert

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Available evidence suggests that malpractice law's track record of meeting its two main goals -- to deter injury-causing behavior and compensate victims of negligence -- is quite underwhelming. Contractual alternatives have been proposed. One of them is the collaborative planning model. The participatory and non-adversarial promise of this model is certainly alluring. However, a number of important questions remain to be answered. How are the power and informational asymmetries that exist in any practitioner-patient relationship to be dealt with in the formation of contracts? What remedies are available for patients (or practitioners) who suffer breaches of their contracts? How will the contractual process fit within ever-greater time and cost restraints imposed on the practitioner-patient relationship by managed-care organizations? And what role remains for tort law? These questions should form part of an ongoing debate about the best ways for the law to help ensure access to quality medical care.

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