New Study Finds That Most Orthopedic Surgeons Practice Defense Medicine! Kingston, NY Medical Malpractice Attorney Discusses
So this is an interesting new study which really shows how plaintiffs’ medical malpractice attorneys can generate change. A repeating theme I really want to debunk is that the tort reform is completely necessary. It is not about going after doctors for money, no no no. It is about compensating the patient and the patient’s family for the harm done to them. To make sure that whatever foul they suffered, they can manage it. Unfortunately with medicine, sometimes you cannot heal the scars, you cannot bring back the dead, and you cannot fix the emotional trauma; the only remedy is money.
A new study looking at national statistics found that orthopedic surgeons actually end up ordering unnecessary tests, referrals, or hospitalizations to avoid being sued; this is a textbook example of defensive medicine. This costs over $2 billion a year!
In fact, of the 1,200 orthopedic surgeons that responded to the surgery, 96 percent reported that they had practiced defensive medicine at some time in the past. Out of all of the tests performed, about 24 percent of those tests were actually just purely defensive. That is, excess laboratory tests, specialist referrals, scans, or hospital admissions just to avoid possible medical malpractice claims.
Yes, this sounds excessive, this sounds unnecessary, and even wasteful. But these extra tests are not just to avoid these potential medical malpractice claims, but they also in turn prevent against potential injuries to patients. It is insuring the safety of patients at a cost, and the issue is whether the costs of the 24 percent of extra procedures is less than the cost of injuries to patients. Because it isn’t just the cost of all these tests which drive the cost of medicine up, but it is also the outrageous harm caused to patients through medical malpractice.
So yes, defensive medicine is slightly worrying because of the costs. But at the same time, I like to see it because it is ensuring what the medical field needs to do; HEAL. The better client-centered the medical—and for that matter really ANY field—becomes, better things will result for the patients and clients out there.
But what do you think?! I welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] . You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.