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First medical malpractice loss for concierge medicine practice

Some Illinois residents may have heard of a growing trend in medical care known as concierge medicine practices. These companies usually charge patients a membership fee for what they advertise as better medical service including same-day appointments. Doctors pay a per-patient fee as well, and in return the companies offer marketing and other services. In general, concierge medicine practices maintain that they offer doctors and patients a way to connect but that they are not responsible for the doctors. However, a ruling on Feb. 10 may bring changes to the industry.

A Florida jury found that MDVIP, the largest concierge medicine practice in the country, was responsible when a doctor and his staff associated with the organization failed repeatedly to diagnose a woman's circulatory problems. The woman's leg was eventually amputated in 2008. Because she died several years later from leukemia, the $8.5 million was awarded to her widower. Prior to the trial, the doctor had reached a settlement with the family of the woman.

Many experts say that companies will now be more careful about the doctors they associate with and may change their advertising. However, others point out that the industry has a growing appeal and is unlikely to be badly hurt by the verdict.

Medical malpractice may be a missed diagnosis as in this case or it may be another kind of error by a medical professional. While not everything that goes wrong in a course of treatment is attributable to medical malpractice, if an individual believes that they or a family member has suffered from doctor negligence, they may be able to file a lawsuit. An attorney who has experience in this practice area can assist a client in determining the remedies that may be available.

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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A: Medical malpractice is negligence committed by a professional health care provider, such as a doctor, nurse, dentist, technician, hospital worker or hospital, whose treatment of a patient departs from a standard of care met by those with similar training and experience, resulting in harm to a patient...

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