Boston Partner Joe Desmond and Associate Bill Wynne recently obtained summary judgment on behalf of Colonial Health Group in a medical malpractice action arising from plaintiff's admission to defendant's nursing home for treatment of back pain. The plaintiff argued that the plaintiff's treating doctor purposefully admitted the plaintiff to the nursing home with knowledge that it was an improper facility in order to obtain the commercial benefit on behalf of the nursing home defendant.
The court held that a partial business motivation for making a referral to a medically inadequate facility was insufficient to constitute a violation of c. 93A. Citing Darviris v. Petros, 442 Mass. 274, 280 (2004), the court stated that in the context of delivery of medical care, "unless a patient can demonstrate that the physician selected the treatment soley for his or her financial benefit . . . evidence that the treatment was more costly than another or no treatment at all is insufficient to establish an unfair or deceptive practice claim [under G.L. c. 93A]."