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Kim Richards’ Mexican Wedding Debacle Underscores Rehab Differences

This last week, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Kim Richards’ volatile behavior earned her more tabloid headlines as she reportedly melted down at her daughter’s wedding in Mexico, allegedly causing her sober coach to quit, and her daughter to stop speaking with her.

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Kim Richards – Center courtesy of Instagram

Multiple sources gave TMZ all the poop from south of the border, that Kim was “under the influence of something,” and whatever Kim took or drank, she did so in private, but when she appeared in public she was “a mess.” Continue reading

Doctors who make House Calls at Center of Antitrust Fight

Who says the House Call is Dead?

Certainly, not the companies that are waging a two-coast turf battle to protect their share of the burgeoning concierge medicine market.

Doctors who make house calls at center of antitrust fight photo

As the traditional way Americans consume medicine shatters in the age of Obamacare, concierge medicine has emerged as a viable alternative for some patients — and not just the uber wealthy or jet-setting celebrities.

For additional cost, a patient can get specialized attention from doctors, including house calls, longer visits and immediate scheduling of appointments. Some high-end concierge doctors even will travel to a vacation location if a patient needs care or — yes — make house calls.

And the company that dominates this medical niche is headquartered in Boca Raton: MDVIP Inc.

Doctors who make house calls at center of antitrust fight photo

But one of MDVIP’s competitors, Signature MD, has gained traction in a federal antitrust lawsuit, claiming MDVIP has created a monopoly in many regions through onerous non-compete clauses for its doctors, some who must pay $1 million to get out of their contract.

In April, a federal judge in California cleared the way for the lawsuit by denying MDVIP’s motion to dismiss the suit.

The turf battles extends to Palm Beach County, where MDVIP pursues a suit in circuit court against Marina Del Rey, Calif.-based Signature MD and a handful of employees, asserting theft of trade secrets.

MDVIP spokeswoman Nancy Udell says as a matter of policy the company doesn’t speak on pending litigation. Previously, she has said the litigation in California is without merit and was retaliation for the lawsuit brought against it by MDVIP in Palm Beach County.

Signature MD claims the industry leader has bullied its way to the top by using the courts and non-compete agreements to keep its doctors from looking for a more lucrative deal with a competitor. Doctor pay a concierge company to help them transition into the new practice, market themselves as concierge physicians and handle billing and all things non-medical.

“The conduct of trying to tie up these physicians in perpetuity is pretty blatant. It’s not going to be hard for a jury to understand why they are doing it,” said attorney Maxwell Belcher, who represents Signature MD. “The 14th Amendment prohibits slavery. Their provisions make it impracticable for doctors to leave.”

Belcher took over the case after MDVIP successfully removed Signature MD’s previous counsel, arguing that they were privy to inside information because of their role in other litigation involving the Boca Raton company.

“Everyone is entitled to be desperate. You put the lawyers on trial, then you’re desperate,” Belcher said.

The lawsuit alleges that MDVIP threatens doctors with legal action for even inquiring about joining a competitor and forces them to sign non-disclosure agreements on non-confidential matters crucial to them joining up elsewhere.

Industry giant

So how big is MDVIP?

U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee spelled it out in an order denying the Boca Raton company’s motion to dismiss on April 21:

  • MDVIP has 71 percent of physicians concierge contracts
  • MDVIP has 86 percent of patients enrolled in concierge medicine
  • MDVIP has 65 percent to 100 percent of overall market share within a 25-mile radius of many large U.S. cities.

 

Signature MD, by comparison, has 7 percent of physician concierge contracts.

Companies such as MDVIP and Signature MD know concierge medicine is still, if not in its infancy, then in toddler stage with about 5,500 practices nationwide. Industry analysts estimate more than 1.5 million Americans get their care through concierge medicine, paying on average about $1,800 a year. Medicare and private insurance is accepted just like at traditional practices, which often carry four times the patient load.

Signature MD estimates it will pull in $30 million in revenue this year. MDVIP is privately held and does not reveal its revenues.

Promising superior service ended up being used against MDVIP in amalpractice case in February. A jury ordered the company to pay $8.5 million for not living up to its well-advertised promise of offering “exceptional care.” The plaintiff was a former cancer patient who lost her leg.

It’s the first time MDVIP, that has more than 200,000 clients in 43 states, has been held liable for the actions of one of its doctors.

A bigger threat to its bottom line may be Signature’s antitrust lawsuit.

Matt Jacobson started the competitor nine years ago with $300,000. He said physicians around the country are watching the antitrust litigation in California. He accuses MDVIP of aiming to bleed its competitors dry with frivolous litigation and points to the lawsuit now in front of Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Jeffery Gillen that named as a defendant a data entry clerk who only briefly worked for MDVIP before taking a job with Signature MD.

“We have doctors who have informed us they are following the case,” Jacobson said. “They are glad we are doing this and say it was about time someone is doing something.”

Doctor makes

house calls

Dr. Jim Williams is a Signature MD doctor. He made three house calls on Friday.

“I’m able to deliver a far superior quality of care than I ever was able to deliver before,” said Williams, who used to cater to thousands of patients while working with his father. Now he has about 300.

“The intimacy, the closeness, the time, the quality of interaction with patients is extraordinary.”

He said it isn’t so much that his patients have found a new modern way to consume medicine.

“They have rediscovered something, the way things used to be,” he said.

As for the antitrust lawsuit, Williams is like any other doctor. He wants the freedom to shop his talents to where it would make the most economic sense for himself and his patients.

And one of Signature MD’s arguments is that MDVIP’s onerous contracts and litigious ways are increasing the cost of doing business for everyone in the concierge niche.

Suit says

doctors targeted

But while Signature MD pursues litigation against MDVIP in California, the tables are turned in Palm Beach County.

In the lawsuit brought by MDVIP against Signature MD in front of Judge Gillen, the Boca Raton company alleges its competitor is targeting its doctors and qualified prospects by using confidential information gleaned from nine of MDVIP’s previous employees. Signature MD claims many of these employees barely worked for MDVIP and had long left the company before signing on with the competitor.

Gail McQuilkin of Kozyak, Tropin and Throckmorton, attorney for Signature MD in Palm Beach County, said MDVIP filed the Palm Beach County suit not against doctors but against support staff.

One defendant, Daniel Gladstone, worked for a few months for MDVIP as a data entry clerk and now doesn’t even work for Signature MD.

“It is very disturbing. I don’t think it’s a proper use of non-compete provisions in employment contracts,” she said. “Non-compete provisions should apply to high-level people who have in-depth knowledge of the operation.”

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Kid-friendly Games that Don’t Involve Screens

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We’ve all been there: You’re out in public when your toddler decides to throw an epic tantrum. You try everything in your parenting bag of tricks to calm him down, but nothing’s working. At a loss, you hand him your iPhone. He’s immediately quieted, mesmerized by the shiny display of dancing cartoon characters on the screen. Yes, electronics are the often easiest and most convenient way to keep little ones entertained. However, too much screentime can be detrimental to a child’s growth and development. If you want to combat your tot’s obsession with electronics, you’ll need an arsenal of screen-free, boredom-busting, kid-friendly games. Continue reading

Glam Products for the Whole Family

Dawn McCarthy of It’s a Glam Thing (itsaglamthing.com) presents “Memorial Day finds that you will love” including:

The look is Nautical. And designs are from Nautica! For the whole family we love the -

  • Men’s Striped Shawl Collar Cardigan. Shawl collar. Welt pockets at front.
  • Men’s Solid Nylon Boardshort Seaside red board short. Elastic waistband. Single back pocket.
  • Women’s Lace Up Rugby Stripe Polo Rugby Stripe. Lace up neckline.
  • American Flag Scarf Woven scarf.
  • Boys USA Polo Shirt colorblocked polo shirt. USA Flag print on right sleeve. Polo collar with buttoned placket.
  • Toddler’s boys’ 2 piece striped shirt & short set Painterly stripe shirt. Elastic waist drawstring shorts.
  • Little Girls Striped Ruffle Dress Soft & sustainable cotton. Scallop trimmed ruffles in front.
  • Men’s slim fit V-Neck T- Shirt 5% Cotton 5% spandex. V-Neckline. Closet Staple.

The GoTech Ion is the only miniature selfie stick on the market. It is compact, at only 7″ and it’s simple to put in a pocket, purse or backpack so it’s always handy to capture a picture. It is made of lightweight, stainless steel with a built-in Bluetooth, it’s available in multiple colors. Prices range from $24.99 to $29.99. Also, for a limited time, promo code ABC4 can be used or 20% off!

Davita Natural Skin care protects your skin the vegan way with safe, healthy and all natural ingredient skin care formulations. The line consists of cleansers and exfoliants, sun care, moisturizers, brightening and lightening products, masques body care and more. Plus color cosmetics and the Oh My DeVita Baby line.

The American made Champion Juicer is celebrating their 60 year anniversary This is the original and most useful juicer and processor that has served several generations and it has never looked better. The Champion pulverizes whole fruits, vegetables (and even meat) and delivers silky smooth, cool, nutrient complete juices, frozen soft serve fruit whips, dumpling fillings, hummus, soups, baby food and more with a consistency unmatched by any other traditional juicer or blender currently in the marketplace.

With Complete Juicing, milling and “whipping” features, The Champion Juicer is a true masticating juicer due to the high rotational speed of the cutter, the grinding action of the saw tooth blades, and the longer processing time. The Champion Juicer has a dependable single auger construction which delivers continuous cool juicing with automatic pulp ejection. Heavy duty, high quality, long lasting juicer utilizes a 1/3 hp electric motor and stainless steel motor shaft backed by a 10 year limited warranty.

Handbag Handcuff is a revolutionary new bag restraint that secures your bag with one click. Simply attach one cuff to your bag and the other cuff to your car’s headrest post, a shopping cart or a chair to keep your bag(s) in place and accessible while driving, shopping or dining. Use it with grocery and takeout bags, laptops and briefcases, gym bags,portfolios and even diaper bags. Take it anywhere!.

To check out these products visit:
nautica.com
theselfiestick.com
devitaskincare.com
championjuicer.com
handbaghandcuff.com

Related Links

Juicing Like a Champ at Home with the Champion Juicer

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Champion Juicer 01As a longtime vegetarian, I love fresh fruits and vegetables and incorporating as many types of fresh, healthy and hearty produce as I can into each meal and snack. I enjoy delicious fruits and vegetables in the form of a cold-pressed juice as often as I can. Many retailers sell fresh juice near my office and apartment, but often for the hefty price tag of $9 to $12 a glass. The convenience of being able to make a fresh juice at home when craving a glass saves both time and money, and I am so excited to have found a product that allows me to produce high-quality, nutrient-dense juice and other fresh fruit and vegetable products – the Champion Juicer Continue reading