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Better safe than sorry? Playing Defense with Medicine

According to a study 8.6% of money spent on medical services goes to services for the practice of defensive medicine. You need not look any further than the late night ads on TV for attorneys looking to sue doctors as the rationale for this.

According to a 2005 study in The Journal of the American Medical Association:

  • 43% used imaging technology when it wasn’t necessary.
  • More than 50% referred patients to other specialists.
  • 70% of emergency physicians ordered additional diagnostic tests.
  • One-third prescribed more medications than were necessary.
  • 60% used unwarranted invasive procedures.
  • 42% restricted their practices by eliminating procedures such as trauma surgery and avoiding patients with complex medical issues.

What do you think about this?  Better safe than sorry?

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