Concierge medicine companies advertise excellent patient care and offer same-day appointments to patients for an annual membership fee. While this setup is supposed to result in better, more personalized care, a case filed against the largest medical concierge management firm, MDVIP, shows that these practices sometimes fail to provide adequate physicians.
A Florida verdict in February is believed to be the first against MDVIP or companies like it. Why? Because the physicians that members see are not employees but are contracted to provide services. Physicians pay groups like MDVIP for marketing, and MDVIP does not offer any type of medical care itself. However, concierge medicine providers could be held accountable for the quality of doctors they promote if this case is any indication.
A woman in Boca Raton, Florida went to a physician affiliated with MDVIP while suffering from leg pain, but the doctor reportedly misdiagnosed her condition and sent her to orthopedists without forwarding her medical records. The woman’s condition worsened, though orthopedists were never told of her new symptoms, and her leg eventually needed to be amputated in 2008. Attorneys on behalf of the woman’s husband contend that the circulation problem the woman suffered from might have been diagnosed if orthopedists were given the proper information from the doctor referred by MDVIP.
The plaintiff was awarded an $8.5 million medical malpractice verdict, which MDVIP is expected to appeal, and the company released a statement citing no inappropriate conduct.
This case is huge news in the concierge medical sector, as the jury found MDVIP liable for the negligence of the physician associated with the company—indicating that these groups might be held responsible in the future if a doctor fails to deliver the standard of care these management firms advertise.
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