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The Adverse Effects of Defensive Medicine

Posted on in Drugs

Doctors spend years studying medicine before they are allowed to make care decisions. Even once they receive their doctoral degrees, they work underneath doctors with tenure and on the job experience. Yet the fear of lawsuits makes most doctors practice defensive medicine. That means that instead of focusing on helping a patient, these doctors are practice medicine to avoid legal action.

Defensive medicine is when doctors second guess their initial diagnosis. Instead of treating the condition that the symptoms point to, the doctor will order additional tests, procedures and other diagnosis tools to rule out other possible options. Defensive medicine can also mean that doctors avoid certain patients or procedures that are high-risk.

It might not seem to be commonplace but it is. Jackson Healthcare, a large healthcare staffing agency, said that 75 percent of doctors practice defensive medicine. Even though it would seem that over testing is a good practice, especially since the high stakes associated with healthcare, but the opposite might be true.

Defensive medicine is a reason why healthcare costs have become so expensive. Unnecessary tests do not benefit the patient being tested and it results in a higher bill. Overall, one in four healthcare dollars are caused by gratuitous tests, which amounts to $650 billion annually. Not only is it more expensive but it might be detrimental to the care of the individual.

In an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, author Dr. Budetti said that, “perhaps the greatest irony is that defensive medicine might increase malpractice risk.” Over testing is not the only practice followed by defensive medicine, but it can also be overtreatment. If you have received medical treatment that has cause more damage then you need the help of a legal professional. Contact an experienced defective medical attorney in Arlington Heights who will work to get you the compensation you deserve.

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