Dispute Resolution in Health Law in Florida and Nationwide
Attorney Christine C. Whitney is an experienced arbitrator and mediator and member of the American Health Lawyers Association Alternative Dispute Resolution Service. She has arbitrated high-dollar cases involving disputes between many types of payors and providers of healthcare services, and has successfully mediated difficult and longstanding healthcare disputes. She provides services including:
- Arbitration involving national healthcare systems, managed care organizations, insurers, hospital chains, physician groups, independent diagnostic testing facilities (IDTF), and specialty groups such as allergy and imaging groups. since 2015, she has arbitrated six cases in which the amount in dispute ranged from under $500,000 to $23 million.
- Mediation involving hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, physician groups, payment disputes, malpractice claims, insurers, payors and providers. She has extensive mediation experience and the skills to help parties reach a mediated resolution that is mutually acceptable.
- Hearing Officer for medical staff hearings
Attorney Whitney has served as the hearing officer at medical staff hearings for years, bringing in-depth knowledge of the process and commitment to honor the rights of all participants and preside over a fair and impartial hearing.
Arbitration, in which the arbitrator decides an issue that the parties have been unable to resolve, typically involves the interpretation or implementation of a contract for services to be provided by one party and paid for by the other. If the services are not provided, or not reimbursed, as specified in the contract, large amounts of money may be in dispute.
It is not uncommon for contractual arrangements between managed care organizations, hospitals or health systems and groups of specialty physicians to result in disputes regarding performance and payment. Arbitration can be an excellent way to resolve how the performance and payment provisions of a contract should be interpreted.
A good arbitrator is charged both with making a written decision and with managing the arbitration process so that it proceeds to a swift and fair conclusion. It is the arbitrator’s job to help counsel focus on the issues and eliminate irrelevant matters, extra witnesses and duplicative testimony. Ms. Whitney has received extensive training in arbitration from both the American Arbitration Association and the American Health Lawyers Association.
Mediation is the process of bringing disputing parties together so that they can work out a solution that is mutually acceptable to them. Only a skilled mediator can successfully manage this process, which requires the parties to cease hostilities and focus on a compromise that meets their needs.
Mediation often involves a seemingly deadlocked situation in which neither party is willing to give an inch. Or payment may appear to be owed, but the payor defends himself claiming that payment would be unlawful under the circumstances.
A mediator who is familiar with the law and trained in the art of helping parties to focus on their needs rather than their arguments can be very effective in resolving previously deadlocked issues. Ms. Whitney received her mediation training from the American Health Lawyers Association.
Medical staff hearings
A medical staff hearing typically deals with a challenge to a physician’s or other practitioner’s right to practice at a particular facility. The issue may be denial of an initial application for membership on the medical staff or the extent of medical staff privileges to be granted. The issue may also be disciplinary, with the intent of restricting or revoking existing privileges.
In either case, these are matters of the highest importance. Without medical staff privileges enabling him or her to practice at an appropriate facility, a physician’s training may be useless and his career at stake.
The hearing officer at a medical staff hearing is charged with conducting a proceeding that is calm and fair, and one in which all the participants’ time is respected.
If there is a dispute regarding admissibility of documents or witness testimony, it is Attorney Whitney’s practice to rule on these issues prior to the hearing. The admissibility of all documents is thus agreed upon, or ruled upon, prior to the hearing, minimizing the time required of the hearing panel and witnesses.
Get the personalized legal services you deserve. Call Christine C. Whitney today.
Christine C. Whitney, P.A. provides mediation and arbitration services to healthcare professionals throughout Florida and nationwide. To find out what the firm can do for you, call 904.356.4387 or contact the firm online.