Medilex was founded in Rockville Centre, New York, in 1992, as collaboration between internist/geriatrician Paul Lavinger, MD; cardiologist/internist Herbert Wegweiser, MD; and attorney Michael Lavinger. Their vision was to provide fair, honest, and cost-effective advice to attorneys handling cases involving medical issues. The process began with a novel concept: triage every case as a free courtesy/interface. Dr. Lavinger brought almost 40 years of medical experience to Medilex, including 15 exclusively as a geriatrician coordinating the care of thousands of his own elderly patients among specialists in nearly 40 fields. Michael Lavinger added legal acumen combined with a pragmatic, logical style. Together they triaged approximately 1,000 cases.
After the passing of Drs. Lavinger and Wegweiser, Michael Lavinger triaged more than 1,000 cases with a forensic pathologist. Michael Lavinger continues this unique “medical-legal residency,” personally triaging every case as a free courtesy and supervising the expert work on every matter. Since 1992, 100 percent of his work has been devoted to consulting with attorneys and medical experts on nearly 15,000 cases spanning approximately 180 fields.
Paul Lavinger, MD, graduated from Creighton University School of Medicine and did his internship and residency in internal medicine and a National Institutes of Health fellowship in endocrinology and metabolic diseases. He began practicing internal medicine in Brooklyn, New York, and finished his career in Bellmore, New York, where he limited his practice to geriatrics and served as Chief of the Section of Geriatrics at a Long Island hospital.
As he was building the Bellmore practice, Dr. Lavinger decided to try to attract the unserved elderly population. Many of these people had no doctor at all or could not afford proper medical care. He set up a network of carefully chosen top specialists in more than 40 fields and referred thousands of patients as necessary. The agreement with these specialists was that he and the other doctors had to accept Medicare as their entire payment. These previously untreated elderly people were now getting high-quality medical care for as little as their $60 annual deductible. This was so successful, and his morbidity and mortality rates were so low, that he was asked to testify (and did) before Health and Human Services in Washington, DC, about how he was able to accomplish these goals simultaneously. He was also featured in articles in Medical Economics for his innovative practice-management systems controlling cost while reducing morbidity and mortality.
Together with Michael Lavinger, Dr. Lavinger triaged cases with attorneys from 1992 until his death in 1995.
Herbert Wegweiser, MD, graduated from the University of Zurich Medical School and did his internship and residency in internal medicine, followed by a cardiology fellowship. He was in private practice in internal medicine and cardiology in Brooklyn, New York, for his entire career. He also served as the director of a coronary care unit at a Brooklyn hospital. Dr. Wegweiser looked to Medilex as a way to keep in contact with medicine after being forced to retire following a cancer diagnosis. Sadly, he never saw this vision realized, as he passed away in 1992.
Michael Lavinger, the director of Medilex, intended to be a physician until mid-way through college. Instead, an intense post-college stint doing systems work at a law firm led him to attend Boston University School of Law, from which he graduated in 1990. He was admitted to practice in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington, DC. He left the practice of law in 1992 and began Medilex, which allows him to combine diverse medical and legal knowledge with natural systems abilities.