Concierge medicine began in 2000, and it is available in some North Carolina cities. The largest group concierge medicine practice is MDVIP, which has about 800 physicians in 41 states. Those seeking care from MDVIP physicians pay a membership fee annually. In exchange, patients are promised quick access to their doctor and exceptional care because physicians limit their patient load to ensure adequate time for personalized care.
In a recent highly publicized example of medical error, a Dallas hospital sent home a seriously ill patient who had a travel history to areas of West Africa where the Ebola outbreak has taken thousands of lives. This serious medical error may have been caused by a flaw in the hospital's software system that did not relay the travel history to all medical personnel. These kinds of medical errors can also happen in North Carolina.
An investigative reporting team joined with a team of producers and reporters from Cox Media Group held outlets to produce an analysis of a huge federal database of government payouts for health-related Department of Veterans Affairs lawsuits and settlements. The result was the discovery of almost 4,500 cases of alleged medical malpractice that the VA settled or lost outright across the U.S. for the preceding decade. Taxpayers reportedly paid out $845 million in these cases.
Many North Carolina residents may have already heard about the medical malpractice case that occurred recently in Ohio involving a mistakenly discarded donor organ. A family has initiated a lawsuit against the University of Toledo Medical Center claiming that hospital negligence led to one of its nurses throwing away a kidney that had been donated by a 21-year-old brother to his 24-year-old sister, who was suffering from end-stage renal disease.