Defensive medicine is the practice of providing diagnostic testing or treatment that is not necessarily the best option for the patient, but is otherwise provided with the intention to protect the physician against a possible medical malpractice lawsuit.
Defensive medicine is widely blamed as the rise in the cost of healthcare. Some argue that making it more difficult to bring a medical malpractice suit will reduce the practice of defensive medicine. Recent studies prove otherwise.
The RAND Corporation Study
The findings of a new RAND Corporation study suggests that medical malpractice reform may not have much effect on the practice of defensive medicine by physicians. The study looked at 3.8 million Medicare patient records from 1,166 hospital emergency care facilities between 1997 and 2011. The research compared care provided to patients before and after reform statutes in three states to care provided in other states that had not implemented any medical malpractice reform.
The study confirmed that the malpractice reform laws did not have any affect on defensive medicine practiced by the healthcare professionals. More specifically, the malpractice reform laws enacted in two of the reform states, Texas and South Carolina, did not cause any reduction in medical charges. The bottom line is that the research suggests that even when the physicians are less threatened by a malpractice lawsuit, they still chose the path of least resistance to provide resource-intensive care to patients.
Contact a New York Medical Malpractice Attorney
If you or a loved one has suffered additional health complications as a result of the negligent or reckless actions of a healthcare professional, you should consult an experienced New York medical malpractice attorney to protect your legal rights.
For additional information about your legal options or to schedule a complimentary consultation, please call Gersowitz Libo & Korek, P.C. at 1-800-529-9997.