Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal
Tupelo, Mississippi
www.djournal.com

Doctor's troubles have Tupelo roots
12/18/2004

By Michaela Gibson Morris


(CANTON, MS) - A Belzoni physician fighting to keep his medical malpractice insurance says his troubles began after he tried to help patients of a former Tupelo pain doctor. Dr. Ronald V. Myers, a family physician known for treating the poor, tried to open a Tupelo clinic a few days a month last year to help former patients of Dr. John McFadden.

First, the Medical Assurance Company of Mississippi refused to extend Myers' malpractice coverage to a Tupelo office. It cited difficulty in caring for patients far from his primary practice in the Delta and the involvement of McFadden - whose license was revoked after a long battle with the state licensure board - and his former patients in the practice. The decision effectively closed Myers' Tupelo office.

This fall, MACM, which is an arm of the Mississippi Medical Association, told Myers it was canceling coverage for his Delta clinics, citing his refusal to let a risk-assessment team look at patient records. Myers said he declined because of federal privacy regulations.

Because other insurance options are out of reach, Myers is having to close his clinics in Greenville, Indianola, Tchula and Belzoni on Jan. 1 while he pursues legal action.

"My problems started when I came up to Tupelo," said Myers.

He had sought help from the courts to keep the MACM insurance, which was costing him $8,000 a year for four clinics. Estimates from the state's physician insurance pool have ranged from $16,000 to $40,000 for a single clinic. On Thursday, Holmes County Chancellor Janace Harvey-Goree ruled the case a contract dispute that should be settled in Madison County Circuit Court.

The change in courts will shutter Myers' clinics because the case cannot be scheduled before his insurance runs out Jan. 1.

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