Monday, January 1, 2007

Sealed Group Health Settlements

A couple of weeks ago, the Seattle Times ran a story about two medical malpractice cases against Group Health Cooperative and one OB/GYN there. The cases were settled and sealed with confidentiality agreements. What the state didn't know about doctor, malpractice suit, Seattle Times, Dec. 13, 2006. The Times emphasized the public interest in knowing about negligent health care providers. Even regulators -- the Department of Health -- didn't know about one multi-million dollar settlement when it disciplined the OB/GYN.

I missed this story (I happened to be out of town that week) until today when I went to Group Health's website (it's my own HMO) and saw Group Health's Response to the Seattle Times Article, Dec. 13, 2006. Group Health says that it did not request to have the cases sealed. In the Times story, the plaintiffs' attorney said she did wanted to share her files. Who does that leave? The doctor?

No comments: