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Doctors Practice Medicine in Fear, New Study Finds
Date:2/25/2010

Doctors Estimate Defensive Medicine Costs Americans $650-850 Billion Annually

Atlanta, GA (Vocus) February 25, 2010 -- Nine out of 10 U.S. physicians (92 percent) reported practicing defensive medicine, according to a new online survey released today by Jackson Healthcare, a healthcare management company.

Defensive medicine refers to tests, hospitalizations, prescriptions and surgical procedures physicians consider medically unnecessary, but order in an attempt to avoid lawsuits. This means patients are paying more so that doctors don’t get sued. In Jackson’s survey, physicians attribute 34 percent of overall healthcare costs to defensive medicine.

To validate the findings of their online survey, Jackson Healthcare retained Gallup to conduct an independent national survey of physicians to quantify the scope of defensive medicine practices. According to Gallup’s study, physicians estimate that one in four dollars (26 percent) spent on health care in America pays for unnecessary tests and treatments.

“According to recent data from The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the U.S. spent $2.5 trillion on healthcare in 2009,” said Richard Jackson, chairman and chief executive officer of Jackson Healthcare. “If physician estimates are accurate, this means that $650-850 billion per year is spent on lawsuit-driven medicine.”

“The consequences of this waste affect all of us,” said Jackson. “Costs go up and quality and access go down when our physicians are under the constant personal threat of litigation.”

According to Jackson, many Americans believe that physicians are personally protected from lawsuits through their malpractice insurance coverage and their affiliatio
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Source: PRWeb
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