The author is emeritus professor of economics at Reed College in Portland, Ore. He is an AAA and FMCS arbitrator and is the generally acknowledged inventor of final-offer arbitration in recognition of which he was presented in 1986 with the Second Annual Bill Abner Award from the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. His research and consulting activities have focused mainly on the economics of the healthservices sector.
In a recent article in the Dispute Resolution Journal (vol. 49, #3), Armand Leone Jr. discussed the advantages of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) for management of medical malpractice disputes.1 I agree with his views on this matter, including his view that ADR is especially suited to enterprise liability settings. I would like to add to the discussion by focusing on further potential benefits of arbitration of medical malpractice disputes. A great advantage of agreement to arbitrate these disputes is to make it feasible for the parties in HMO settings to adopt contract law (rather than tort law) as the legal basis for malpractice claims (a choice likewise most suited to enterprise liability settings).