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Poll: One of Four Healthcare Dollars Spent on Unnecessary Medical Care
Date:2/22/2010

One in four dollars spent on health care in America now pays for unnecessary tests and treatments that physicians order to keep from being sued, according to a new poll of the nation’s doctors released today by Jackson Healthcare and the Center for Health Transformation.

Washington, DC (Vocus) February 22, 2010 -- One in four dollars spent on health care in America now pays for unnecessary tests and treatments that physicians order to keep from being sued, according to a new poll of the nation’s doctors released today by Jackson Healthcare and the Center for Health Transformation.

The poll, conducted by the Gallup organization for Jackson Healthcare, showed that of physicians surveyed nationwide, 73 percent said they practiced some form of “defensive medicine” in the past 12 months to protect themselves from frivolous lawsuits.

That means patients are paying more so doctors don’t get sued.

“Healthcare would be cheaper for every American if we could slash the cost of defensive medicine,” said Newt Gingrich, founder of the Center for Health Transformation. “Think of how often each of us gets sent for extra lab work or tests that seem so unnecessary.

“Meaningful health reform must address these unnecessary costs,” Gingrich said.

Gallup conducted the six-week, nationwide survey across all specialties of physicians. Those doctors reported that 26 percent of overall healthcare costs can be attributed to the practice of defensive medicine.

According to just-released data by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, hea
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