Patient’s Death Prompts Suit for Gaps between Concierge Medicine Services and Specialist
November 1, 2013 | Strategic Insights for Ambulatory Care
Providers practicing in Kentucky have agreed to a confidential settlement following a jury verdict of almost $500,000 to resolve claims of negligence in failing to act on elevated liver function tests for a patient taking a medication known to increase the risk of liver damage, states a report (login required) from the October 2013 Medical Malpractice Verdicts, Settlements, and Experts. The 60-year-old patient, who began seeing the defendant in 2004, had a long history of cardiac problems, including two myocardial infarctions and coronary blockages, bypass repair surgery, and atrial fibrillation. The defendant had a concierge medical practice, which charged an annual fee and placed limits on the number of patients seen. To help manage the patient’s cardiac issues, the patient was referred to a cardiologist/electrophysiologist, who implanted a cardiac defibrillator and prescribed an antiarrhythmic medication that requires regular blood testing for liver function. The cardiologist/electrophysiologist provided regular reports of the patient’s liver function to the defendant. When the patient’s liver function began to show elevated levels in May 2008, the defendant allegedly failed to act on the reports.