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What is the filing fee?
In order to bring a claim against Kaiser, the Kaiser member or claimant must file a claim for arbitration against Kaiser. A fee is required to file this claim, but Kaiser will under ceratin circumstances waive this fee. Once the claim is filed, the OIA will create a list of possible neutral arbitrators that are then sent both to Kaiser lawyers and the claimant lawyers.
What occurs during this period?
Once the claim has been filed and both parties have been provided with the names of possible arbitrators, Kaiser is given a period of time to investigate and respond to the claim being made. In some cases, Kaiser's lawyers may request extra time to investigate the claim.
How do the parties choose the Arbitrator?
Kaiser's lawyers and your lawyers are each provided with a list of 12 names and each side is allowed to strike a specified number of names, and to rank, in order of preference, the remaining names. The Office of the Independent Administrator then compares the lists and selects that neutral who has not been "struck" by either party and who is the most highly ranked by both sides.
How is the arbitrator contracted?
Once the arbitrator has been selected, the Office of Independent Administrator will contact and secure the services of the arbitrator within 10 days.
What is the Arbitration Management Conference?
The AMC must occur within the 60 days after the neutral arbitrator has been selected. At the AMC attorneys from both sides meet with the neutral arbitrator and develop a schedule for the completion of the case. At this conference the parties discuss the status of discovery, any pending or intended motions, as well as both sides assessment of the value of the case.
What is the Mandatory Settlement Meeting?
The MSM is a meeting between the parties outside the presence of the neutral arbitrator and must occur within six months of the Arbitration Management Conference. The MSM offers the parties an opportunity to sit down and attempt to resolve the case without proceeding to arbitration.
What is the Arbitration Hearing?
The Arbitration Hearing has many of the same elements of a Jury Trial. In a Kaiser arbitration, the person bringing the claim ("Claimant") and Kaiser present witnesses, including medical experts. The neutral arbitrator acts as the judge and jury. Once the hearing is concluded the neutral arbitrator has fifteen days to decide the case based upon his or her interpretation of the law and the evidence presented.
What is the Award?
The award is determined solely by the neutral arbitrator and is final, legally binding, and enforceable in court. The decisions, with rare exception, cannot be challenged or changed. There is no right of appeal in Kaiser arbitration.