Failure to Properly Follow-up on Test Results Leads to $1M Settlement
July 24, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
A primary care physician's insurer agreed to pay $1 million to resolve allegations of negligence in failing to advise a patient about test results and a specialist's recommendation to remove an abnormal mole, according to a June 2017 report from Zarin's Medical Liability Alert (subscription required). The 28-year-old patient presented to the defendant primary care physician in May 2009 with concerns about a mole on her calf. The physician performed a punch biopsy and submitted it to a dermapathologist, who concluded that the mole was "atypical in its architecture and cellular structure" and recommended removing it. When the patient returned to the office, the primary care physician removed the punch biopsy suture but, according to his office notes, did not advise the patient about any abnormalities or refer her to a specialist. The physician did not perform the recommended excision. The patient claimed that the physician told her the mole was benign and not to worry about it.