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.
All health care providers in North Carolina and around the country must explain to their patients what their health condition is and what options are available to treat it. This gives the patient the opportunity to consent to a specific form of treatment based on detailed information. Some treatments require written consent, but others simply require oral consent.
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.
Members of the medical community in North Carolina may take note of the outcome of a recent case in New York City. A patient who claimed he was misdiagnosed by his doctor was awarded $4 million by a court for his ordeal.
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.
North Carolina moms who are considering having a laser liposuction procedure might want to rethink their decision after they hear about how one mother's procedure turned out. A 26-year-old mother from the Bronx ended up severely scarred and deformed after the OB/GYN scorched her with the laser during the procedure. After the incident occurred, the OB/GYN allegedly tried to prevent the woman from going to the hospital to receive treatment for the burns.
North Carolina patients may have noticed that some hospitals have made some major investments recently. The lobbies may be nicer, or they may even feature nail salons and flat-screen televisions. The one thing that hospitals are not making major investments in, however, is patient safety.
North Carolina residents may have heard about a 49-year-old former Marine who went to a veterans' medical facility in 2007 to have some teeth extracted and was left permanently incapacitated. He and his family received $17.5 million in a medical malpractice judgment, which was one of the largest against the Department of Veterans Affairs in 12 years. The settlement was one of several hundred payments totaling $91.7 million made by the U.S. government last year in an attempt to take care of VA malpractice claims.
North Carolina baseball enthusiasts may have already heard that star player Alex "A-Rod" Rodriguez may be about to file a malpractice lawsuit against the Yankees doctor who missed a left hip injury during the 2012 postseason. The failure to diagnose the injury may have adversely impacted A-Rod's performance. The baseball player believes that the doctor intentionally left the injury out of his report as part of a strategy on the part of the team's administrators to have insurance cover the remaining years of A-Rod's contract.
North Carolina readers may be interested to learn about a growing consensus that Americans tend to be overtested, overdiagnosed and overtreated for a variety of conditions, including some cancers. According to the estimates of some experts, unnecessary interventions may account for 10 to 30 percent of U.S. spending on healthcare. This shift in thinking within the medical community is supported by increasing scientific evidence. Such overtreatment may lead to allegations of medical malpractice for physicians.