March 12, 2015 – Concierge medicine companies advertise excellent patient care and offer same-day appointments to patients for an annual membership fee. While this 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.
Relationship Between Providers And Physicians
A Feb. 10 verdict in Florida is believed to be the first against MDVIP or companies like it 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.
The Medical Malpractice Case
A woman in Boca Raton went to a physician affiliated with MDVIP while suffering from leg pain, but this 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.
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The plaintiff was awarded an $8.5 million medical malpractice verdict, though MDVIP is expected to appeal this, and the company released a statement citing no inappropriate conduct. This is still huge news in the concierge medical sector as the jury found MDVIP liable for the negligence of the physician associated with the company. This indicates that these groups might be held responsible in the future if a doctor fails to deliver the standard of care these management firms advertise.