ADR is flexible. Any ADR process can be tailored to fit the needs of the parties and/or a particular set of circumstances. This can lead to the creation of interesting hybrids, one of which is the subject of this article. Lit-arb, a combination of litigation and arbitration, “provides the ultimate answer for resolving medical malpractice claims not already subject to voluntary binding arbitration, which arise in a managed care setting,” says author Armand Leone Jr. His article maintains these seemingly contradictory dispute resolution strategies may combine in a curiously effective mix under certain circumstances.
As managed care becomes the predominant form of healthcare delivery, there is a need for specialized ADR that can be used to resolve medical malpractice claims arising in the managed care setting. Although voluntary binding arbitration of malpractice claims is used by some HMOs in certain parts of the country with success and has been upheld at the highest state court levels, it has not been generally accepted.1