AcademyHealth: The cost of defensive medicine

My latest post over at the AcademyHealth blog:

I have long argued against the argument that tort reform is a viable means to cost control. One of my main reasons for doing so is that there is very little evidence that passing tort reform results in significant changes in physician practice.

One of the reasons for this is that there are many reasons for ordering tests, procedures, and hospitalizations outside of a fear of litigation. An obvious one, sometimes overlooked, is that there is a financial benefit to many physicians, offices, and hospitals for ordering that stuff as well. It’s sometimes easier to say that you’re doing so for “defensive” reasons because it gets you off the hook for overusing services and care.

A new paper at JAMA Internal Medicine adds data to my arguments. Go read!


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