Failure to Inform Patient of Mass Found on Kidney over Five Years of Treatment Leads to $1.5M Settlement
October 14, 2019 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
What's the news. A primary care physician in Massachusetts entered into a $1.5 million settlement to resolve allegations that she negligently failed over a five-year period to inform a patient about, or follow up about in any way, on a mass that had been found on the patient's kidney. The patient visited the defendant with complaints of constipation, lower left quadrant pain, and stomach pain. Examination and computed tomography (CT) scan revealed a 3.6-cm mass in her left kidney. The reviewing radiologist recommended biopsy. The defendant called the patient's home and was informed by her 12-year-old child that she was out of the country. The provider told the child to have the patient call the office when she returned, without finding out how long she would be away. Over the next five years, the provider continued to treat the patient but never performed any additional follow-up on the CT scan results, whether by sending a letter to the patient, making additional calls, or mentioning the results at subsequent appointments. No biopsy was ever ordered or performed.