We somehow missed this at the time, but the federal Department of Health and Human Services in September launched a pilot "early offers" program aimed at resolving claims by patients of injury arising from the medical care provided at federally funded community and Indian health centers. (coverage: American Medical News, Insurance Journal; more). Both the patient and HHS will have the option of transmitting an offer within the suit's first ninety days to an independent third party, who will not notify the other side unless overlapping offers are in hand from both sides, in which case the third party will announce that settlement has been achieved at the level of the patient's demand. Participation by patients in the program is voluntary, and, as students of the subject will be aware, the program differs in several particulars from the widely known "early offers" blueprint for injury-suit reform advanced by Lester Brickman, Michael Horowitz and Jeffrey O'Connell (on which see our August featured discussion).
Thanks to Prof. David Hyman, now of the University of Illinois School of Law, for calling this to our attention.