Medical Review Panel
Requesting Formation of a Medical Review Panel
Not earlier than 20 days after the filing of a proposed complaint, either party may request the formation of a medical review panel by serving a request by registered or certified mail upon all parties and the Commissioner. Filing a proposed complaint does not automatically result in a panel being formed. The Indiana Department of Insurance is not involved in the selection process of the panel. Refer to the section "Selecting the Panel" below regarding the process.
No panel will be formed if neither party requests one.
If a panel is formed, the party who "wins" MUST pay the panel's fees. The average cost of a panel is approximately $3,000.
For information or assistance with Medical Review Panels contact:
Medical Review Panel
Selecting the Panel
Composition of the Panel
The panel consists of one attorney and three health care providers. The attorney acts as chair of the panel and in an advisory capacity but has no vote.
Selection of the Panel Chair
Within 15 days after the request to form a panel is filed, the parties select a panel chair by agreement. If no agreement can be reached, either party may request that the Clerk of the Supreme Court draw at random a list of five names of attorneys. These attorneys are qualified to practice presently on the rolls of the Supreme Court and maintain offices in the county of venue designated in the proposed complaint or in a contiguous county. However, the Commissioner recommends that the parties agree upon a panel chair knowledgeable about the Act and experienced as a panel chair.
A request to the Clerk costs $25. On the request to the clerk, include names, addresses, and parties represented by the attorneys of record, and provide a complete caption of the case. The Clerk will notify the remaining attorney and all parties that the remaining attorney has been selected as chair.
Selection of Panel Members
Within 15 days after the chair is selected, both parties select a health care provider and notify the other party and the chair of their selection. If a party fails to make a selection within the time provided, the chair makes the selection and notifies both parties.
Within 15 days after their selection, the two health care provider members select the third member and notify the chair and the parties. If they fail to make a selection, the chair shall make the selection and notify the parties.
Challenge to Panel Member Selection
Within ten days after any selection, written challenge without cause may be made to the panel member. Upon challenge or excuse, the party whose appointee was challenged or dismissed selects another panelist.
If the challenged or dismissed panel member was selected by the other two panel members, they make a new selection.
Notification of Panel Selection Completion
When all members of the panel have been selected, within five days the chair will notify the Commissioner and the parties by registered or certified mail of the Panel members’ names and addresses and the date on which the last member was selected.
Forms of Panel Evidence
The Act provides for submission of evidence to the panel in written form only. The evidence may consist of:
- Medical Charts
- Lab Tests
- Excerpts of Treatises
- Depositions of Witnesses Including Parties
- Any other form of evidence allowable by the panel.
Evidence should be presented to the panel ONLY. Do not send evidence to the Department.
Right to Convene the Panel
After all evidence has been submitted to the panel, either party has the right to ask the panel to convene at a time and place agreeable to the panel.
When the panel meets, either party may question the members regarding matters relevant to the issues to be decided by the panel. The chair presides at the meeting, and the meeting is to be informal.
Panel Opinion - Time Limit and Reporting
The panel renders an opinion as to whether the evidence supports the conclusion that the defendant(s) acted or failed to act within the appropriate standard of care.
The panel should render its expert opinion within 180 days of selection of the last member. The opinion should be in writing and signed by the members.
Panel Compensation and Fees
Each health care provider member of the panel is paid up to $350, plus reasonable travel expenses.
The chair is paid $250 dollars per diem, not to exceed $2000 dollars, plus reasonable travel expenses.
The fees and expenses of the panel are paid by the side in whose favor the panel's majority opinion is written. If there is no majority opinion, each side pays 50% of the fees and expenses.
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