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This article dissects the meaning of “disclosure-and-resolution” programs, which call health organizations to disclose medical errors to patients and families involved; apologize; and offer compensation when necessary. Health systems that used approach found decreased litigation fees. Researchers analyzed surveys in which individuals used “disclosure-and-resolution programs where appropriate. They found that increasing compensation allowances following an adverse event did not improve results, nor did it decrease the likelihood of patients and families filing lawsuits following an adverse event. Thus, it is important for healthcare systems to remember that “disclosure-and-resolution” programs may help promote effective and honest communication between patients and families, but it does not decrease associated legal costs or the possibility of a lawsuit.


Murtagh, L., Gallagher, T. H., Andrew, P., & Mello, M. M. (2012). Disclosure-And-Resolution Programs That Include Generous Compensation Offers May Prompt A Complex Patient Response. Health Affairs, 31(12), 2681–2689.