A pediatrician mysteriously leaves. Is malpractice insurance to blame?

On October 4th, I was told by Dr. Mardolkar that the malpractice insurance was due on October 1st, and that he could not make the payment.

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  • Elliott

    Short answers to inane questions.

    “Is malpractice insurance to blame?”

    No.

  • Anonymous

    “Is malpractice insurance to blame?”

    There’s not enough information in the news article to make any reasonable conclusion. With the limited information available, all the conclusions we make are assumptions and pure speculation.
    -Dr.EAM

  • S.

    Inability to pay his malpractice insurance premium could be one of or even the sole reason for his decision to decamp to Washington.

    How could that explain or excuse his failure to notify his patients of his decision to leave, and to maintain records and make them available to his patients?

    Failure to take any steps to assure continuity of care for his patients may or may not be a breach of his professional duty or any contractual obligations he might have had to the hospital, but I think it stinks.

  • Anonymous

    “Failure to take any steps to assure continuity of care for his patients may or may not be a breach of his professional duty”

    Usually a public record announcement in the local paper along with a letter to the local hospital medical director and the hospital physician referral service is more than enough notice. Charts can be offered to patients willing to pick them up, or they can be mailed to the patient’s last home of record (I wouldn’t do this for fear of misdirected mail), and a reasonable period to allow retrieval in person–say 30 days from public notice–is really all that is necessary. In some communities, other practitioners have been willing to take physical custody of records for patient retrieval after a doctor leaves the community. Where the physician is leaving the area of his former location, public announcement of the new location or practice is generally not required.

    Continuity of care in this case generally refers to continuity of care for hospitalized patients, not outpatients. It is not a physician’s responsibility to ensure that patients not hospitalized actually obtain other coverage; referral to a hospital medical staff office for a list of locally available doctors is all that is necessary.

    Contractual obligations to provide followup, for instance for patients in a defined period following surgery may require more specific arrangements and transfer of records to an available provider willing to see those patients. Even these are not carved in stone, though. Circumstances like military callup can trump even these customs.

  • Greg P

    Likely one of many doctors who is simply a very poor businessman.