Landmark decision in case involving concierge medicine practice

By Rheingold Giuffra Ruffo & Plotkin LLP

New York residents may have heard of a growing trend in health care known as concierge medicine practices. In this type of an arrangement, patients pay a membership fee in exchange for receiving what is described by these companies as quicker access to exceptional medical care. Doctors associated with concierge medicine practices are not employed by the practices but pay a fee for services that include branding and advertising. Concierge medical practices maintain that they are simply brokers, but all that may change due to a court decision on Feb. 10 that found a concierge medical practice responsible for a doctor’s malpractice.

This case occurred in Florida and concerned a woman with blood clots in her legs that were repeatedly misdiagnosed. Eventually, the woman had to have the leg partly amputated. The company, MDVIP, is the largest concierge medicine practice in the country, and the jury also found the company guilty of false advertising regarding the quality of its physicians and care. The jury awarded $8.5 million to the widower of the woman who suffered the malpractice.

Many experts say that this will result in a more careful screening of doctors who join concierge medicine practices. Such companies may also be more careful in their advertising regarding the kind of care they promise.

An individual who has suffered as a result of medical negligence or whose family members have may wish to discuss filing a lawsuit with an attorney for a number of reasons. The malpractice may have led to higher medical bills and a significant change in the family’s lifestyle if the person needed care or took a long time to recover. A lawsuit may also force a facility to re-examine and change its practice to prevent such an incident occurring again.

Source: Physicians News Digest,“MDVIP Becomes First Concierge Medicine Practice to Lose Medical Malpractice Case”, Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News, Feb. 13, 2015

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