Home » News
Home » News

Defensive medicine

Published September 4, 2011 7:35 pm
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

The article "Study: Only 1 in 5 medical malpractice cases pay" (Tribune, Aug. 17) reported that "most physicians and virtually every surgeon will face at least one malpractice lawsuit in their careers." This alarming statistic is an important driver of rising U.S. health care costs.

Even though most sued doctors are found innocent, 93 percent of all doctors admit practicing defensive medicine — ordering unnecessary tests, referrals and procedures — to protect themselves from the threat of a lawsuit. Such practices add $191 billion in unnecessary health care costs every year.

By making care and thus insurance more expensive, defensive medicine has added 3.4 million Americans to the rolls of the uninsured.

Lawrence J. McQuillan Director, business and economic studies Pacific Research Institute

San Francisco




Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
comments powered by Disqus