Disclosures about OIA Relationships with Parties, Lawyers, and Neutral Arbitrators

This page provides information required to be disclosed by Standard 8 (b) (1) and 8 (c) of the Ethics Standards. It will be updated as needed.

1.  The Law Offices of Marcella A. Bell ("LOMAB") does not have a financial interest in any party. The Office of the Independent Administrator ("OIA") is contained within the LOMAB.

No party, lawyer in the arbitration, or law firm with which a lawyer in the arbitration is currently associated is a member of or has a financial interest in the LOMAB. 

No party, lawyer in the arbitration, or law firm with which a lawyer in the arbitration is currently associated has given a gift, bequest, or favor to the LOMAB.

Marcella Bell has a contract with the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan Arbitration Oversight Board to independently administer the mandatory arbitration of disputes between Kaiser Permanente and its members, beginning March 29, 2015.  (Prior to that, the Law Offices of Sharon Oxborough had a contract to act as the OIA.)

The Arbitration Oversight Board is an unincorporated association, funded by a trust that was established by Kaiser Permanente.  The Arbitration Oversight Board consists of thirteen individuals, and is chaired by David Werdegar, M.D., Professor of Family of Community Medicine, Emeritus, UCSF School of Medicine, and vice-chaired by Cornelius L. Hopper, M.D., Vice President for Health Affairs, Emeritus, University of California System. According to its bylaws, no more than four members may be Kaiser-affiliated. The Arbitration Oversight Board was created to ensure that the OIA would be independent from Kaiser Permanente.

2.  The LOMAB has no financial relationship with any person in its pool of possible neutral arbitrators. 

Arbitrators are recruited and added to the pool continuously. Arbitrators who wish to be added to the pool of possible arbitrators complete and submit an application.  The OIA, acting alone, reviews the applications and selects arbitrators for its pool based upon the published qualifications which are posted on the internet. Any individual who applies will either be admitted to the panel or cited to the specific qualification which the person failed to meet and given an opportunity to show that he or she actually meets the requirement. The OIA provides arbitrators in its pool with information about new statutory and regulatory requirements regarding consumer and health care arbitration, such as the Ethics Standards.

Neutral arbitrators are selected for a specific case in the following way. The List of Possible Arbitrators given to the parties in any given case contains twelve names and is generated randomly through a computer program. The names are drawn from the OIA’s three geographic pools of possible arbitrators – Northern California, Southern California, and San Diego. When the OIA sends a list to the parties, it is accompanied by background information about the arbitrators named on the list, as well as copies of prior awards and anonymous party evaluations the OIA has received for the arbitrators. The parties in a case may, within the confines of the Ethics Standards and OIA Rules, jointly select any neutral arbitrator. If they do not, the OIA uses the lists that the parties return to determine which neutral arbitrator the parties have selected.  Each side may strike up to four names and rank the remaining names. That selection is still subject to California's statutory disclosure and disqualification procedure.

If the OIA receives a party’s timely notice of disqualification following the statutory disclosure by a neutral arbitrator, or following the failure of a neutral arbitrator to send such a disclosure, the neutral arbitrator is disqualified and another neutral arbitrator is selected pursuant to OIA Rules.

The OIA complies with any court orders addressing either appointment or disqualification of neutral arbitrators.

3/29/15