Skip to comments.Doctors' practice of "defensive medicine" widespread, costly (Terrified of Lawsuits)
Posted on 11/17/2008 8:59:26 PM PST by buccaneer81
Doctors' practice of "defensive medicine" widespread, costly November 17, 2008 12:34 PM
Kay Lazar, Globe Staff
The fear of being sued is driving Massachusetts physicians to order many tests, procedures, referrals to specialists and even hospitalizations for consumers that aren't needed and drive up health costs by more than $1.4 billion a year, according to a new study that is the first of its kind.
The Massachusetts Medical Society surveyed 900 of its members, including family doctors, obstetricians and gynecologists and general surgeons, who reported practicing so-called "defensive medicine."
The report found that 83 percent of physicians surveyed reported practicing defensive medicine and that an average of 18 to 28 percent of tests, procedures and referrals and consultations, and 13 percent of hospitalizations were ordered solely out of fear of being sued.
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
This is the essence of the "healthcare crisis." The beneficiaries are lawyers. Imagine that.
Tort reform will be a necessary component of the next American Revolution.
Nah. Universal Health Care will fix the problem. You can’t sue the Government. The lawyers will lose a LOT of business when the Government controls which Doctors we see and what procedures will get the green light. And don’t let anybody fool you......health care procedures are denied all the time under National Health Care.
this doctor won’t work for the government under national health care - time to open my quilt shop.
And in my admittedly anecdotal experience, 100% of physicians I practice with practice defensive medicine. It is the only way to stay afloat.
I went to High School and university in Canada in the '70s and '80s. My high school principal (another government employee) made more than any doctor in my town of 6000.
I know. I lived in Canada for seven years.
I make a lot less than most people would think. But I will not surrender my freedom to practice the best medicine I know how and make even less than I do now. If national health care gets instituted, I WILL find something else to do. And I am not the only physician I know that feels this way. There will be an even larger influx of foreign docs to cover the holes after many of us quit.
Oh, come on...this doctor cannot wait for the national health care system. I mean, after all, no more 24 hour shifts in the operating room or intensive care unit. I can have union representation and qualify for bailout money. BUT MOST IMPORTANTLY, other physcians will be able to take Christmas off to spend it with family instead of same lame excuse like he might have to work...hypothetical situation, only :)
By the way, for anyone who is interested in my real opinion, please see my four year old tagline...
spoken like a rich lazy subspecialist ;-)
Probably because you are hiding it in your massive offshore accounts that are only available to the greedy rich.
Or probably because you are just a generalist primary care doc instead of a mighty and highly trained specialist. Which is it? :)
We are already covered up with them in rural areas.
You might find this discussion of interest
True. My ex-wife is from Western PA, Eastern OH. The chances are good that it will be a Pakistani MD treating you in East Liverpool, OH.
You don’t have to get snippy. I cannot help the fact that I am a much more highly trained supersubspecialist who has no life except to go back to school after seven years in private practive. At least when I am making a fellowship pay, you can just send the checks to me as i, too, will be in the middle class. Where do i sign up for my s*** from the federal government?
You have freep mail
(Its OK folks, we have known each other for years and the conversation is an inside joke.)
Surely you are not siggesting you buff charts, Doctor?
This ER doc will be spending a lot more time at the beach, and a lot less up all night, or working weekends and holidays.
Hell, we might even benefit (at first) from national health care as at least we will get something from the 30-40% of patients we now see for nothing.
TYPICAL woman, well I will let the secret out fully, we have known each other since I was born as she is my MUCH OLDER sister, who lives in COLORADO (a blue state) where I hope it is snowing like crazy as it is sooo cold here in Florida that I might have to put on a sweatshirt tomorrow when I go to work...(oh, and she is not a specialist like me...wish she would quit complaining and go to work and scrounge up some patients for me to see...)
Me either I may go back to school and become a lawyer who sues lawyers. All physicians practice defensive medicine daily. For a physican to be sued it is a personal and emotional experience. We a not lawyers we do not take this lightly. It is not just a cost of doing business. It is personal. I have never been sued YET. I have played it over and over in my head what it might be like and at times have been terrified about the possiblility. If you think about it you feel like you are working under the eyes of Big Brother daily. It was horrible in residency. People whipered about how they should order this or that just because they may be sued.
Yes but in return you will be told exactly how to practice. And I dont think the remuneration per patient will be anywhere near what it is now.
As for your reduced hours, just who is going to step in and cover the rest? We are short on physicians already. Someone has to work all night, weekends, holidays, etc. I dont see much change for the positive on this one.
Truly, I do not know how you ER guys stand it...I am going to school to get my MBA with several ER guys, and I did not know that it had gotten so bad. It really irritates me that the lawyers will not take clients without retainers and cash on the barrelhead, but if we even ask a patient if they can pay, we are evil. Nice double standard, eh? Well, this anesthesiologist and critical care physician is eternally grateful for you ER guys who are on the front line...(psst — better than being an internist)
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