Torts Keyed to Epstein
Petrovich v. Share Health Plan of Illinois, Inc
Plaintiff alleged that her treating doctor, Dr. Kowalski and her HMO, Defendant, were responsible for the negligent and tardy diagnosis of her tongue cancer. Plaintiff died during trial. Defendant did not employ Dr. Kowalski but operated as “a financing entity that arranges and pays for health care by contracting with independent medical groups and doctors.” Doctors in Defendant’s network are required to complete an application and meet with Defendant’s approval. Doctors were compensated on a per patient basis. Defendant maintained its quality assurance program. Plaintiff’s handbook does not mention that Dr. Kowalski is an independent contractor but instead refers to him as “your Share physician.” Defendant’s primary care physicians are required to approve patients’ medical requests and make referrals to specialists. Dr. Kowalski did not feel constrained by Defendant in making medicinal decisions. Plaintiff believed that Dr. Kowalski was an employee of Defendant.
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