Resolution of Disputes
Peer Review is a voluntary informal mediation/arbitration process that has been developed by organized dentistry as a free-of-charge public services that allows patients, third party payers and dentists to resolve disputes over quality of care and appropriateness of dental treatment issues.
The Akron Dental Society has a Peer Review Committee and when the Central Office receives a complaint via the telephone or mail a mediation form is mailed to the party making the complaint. Upon its return it is then ailed to the chairman of the Peer Review Committee for review, and if within the guidelines of peer review, a mediator will then be assigned to mediate the case.
The committee will not consider complaints made beyond one year from the date of the completed service or if the work in question has been altered without diagnostic aids to determine the facts.
If mediation proves unsuccessful, the involved parties will be required to sign a binding arbitration agreement for the process to continue. If both parties do not sign binding arbitration, then peer review will end its involvement in the dispute.
After all involved parties have agreed to binding arbitration, the Peer Review Committee will conduct a clinical examination, interview the involved parties and, based on this information, render findings and recommendations concerning the case.
When monetary awards are recommended by the Committee, such awards are limited to the fee charged by the dentist for the service in question by refund or the elimination of liability for such amount. Peer Review is prohibited from awarding punitive damages, issuing fines, adjudicating fee disputes or making prospective awards.
The local peer review committee recommendations may be appealed for just cause (i.e., procedural error, prejudice or bias and/or the local committee’s findings are not supported by the facts which were presented to it) by either party to the ODA Statewide Subcouncil on Peer Review for a final determination.