Doctors Providing Costly Care Less Likely To Be Sued

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In a recent study it has been found out doctors who order for more tests and provide care which is more than necessary are less likely to be sued or accused of malpractice.

The United States researchers through the study found out that between the year 2000 and 2009, the doctors in Florida who provided a high priced care were also the one who were least likely to be sued between the year 2001 and 2010.

Lead author of the study and Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston’s Dr. Anupam Jena said, “By no means would I consider it to be conclusive, but it does signal to us that defensive medicine could work in lowering malpractice risk, but more research is needed to know if that’s true or not.”

According to the researchers, the practice of giving high cost care and more healthcare than is required encourages defensive medicine and helps these doctors to keep lawsuits at bay.

Jena further said,”If you ask physicians what’s the number one concern they have when you talk to them about their careers, I would say malpractice will come up as one of their top concerns.”

In order to reach the findings, the researchers evaluated a data of almost 25,000 doctors who oversaw about 18.3 million hospital admissions and were faced with more than 4,300 malpractice claims.

Commenting on the findings, Jena said, “If you look at doctors who spend more in a given specialty, higher spending physicians get sued less often than low spending physicians.”

It was also found out that the obstetricians who performed more number of cesarean sections had a lower probability of facing a lawsuit one year after the surgeries, the researchers said that such surgeries are hence performed defensively.

However, the researchers were not able to prove that extra expenditures were due to the ‘defensive medicine’ system adapted by certain doctors.

The findings of the research were published in The BMJ.

Source: reuters


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