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Medical concierge firm held liable in medical malpractice case

People in Colorado may be interested in a recent case in which a large medical concierge firm was found to be liable for the malpractice of one of its doctors. A jury returned an $8.5 million verdict against the company following a trial in Palm Beach County, Florida.

The case was believed to be the first of its kind. A concierge medical firm is one that provides perks to members, including same-day medical appointments and referrals to participating doctors. In turn, the firm collects an annual membership fee of $1,500 for its referral services. The medical concierge firm, MDVIP, is believed to be the first that has been sued for medical malpractice for the actions of one of its participating physicians.

In the underlying case, a doctor who received referrals from MDVIP failed to diagnose the source of a patient's leg pain properly. The misdiagnosis led to the patient's leg amputation. Typically, concierge firms have argued they are not liable as they act as brokers between patients and contracted physicians for care. The ruling is thus considered to be significant, as it found the company liable for the doctor's negligence.

This case illustrates that when a person suffers a permanent injury due to the medical malpractice of a physician or other health professional, both the healthcare provider as well as his or her employer may be held liable. Those who receive such a serious injury may want to discuss the facts of their cases with a medical malpractice attorney. An attorney may be able to provide a fair evaluation of a case. He or she may also be able to help by filing the civil complaint on behalf of his or her clients. As this case demonstrates, identifying all potential defendants may also be very important in such a case.

Source: Physicians News Digest, "MDVIP Becomes First Concierge Medicine Practice to Lose Medical Malpractice Case," Feb. 22, 2015

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