Fear of Medical Liability Not Only Reason for Too Much Care

Side Note: The article below discusses a recent study in the Archives of Internal Medicine that discovered that there are a lot of reasons why physicians order overly aggressive medical care for their patients. As one would expect, fear of medical liability and having to use one’s medical malpractice insurance was the number one reason for treating aggressively –seventy-five percent of respondents said so.

Interestingly, though not surprisingly, another reason for ordering extra tests and referrals physicians said was because they have too little time with their patients. To compensate, they say they order extra tests and the like. Yet another interesting finding was that ninety-five percent of the physicians thought that doctors vary in their treatments for patients with the same condition. The article did not say if this was another reason for physicians’ aggressive care –fear of not providing care that was consistent with one’s colleagues.

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Fear of lawsuits, little time with patients lead to more aggressive care
By: Alicia Gallegos
From: amednews staff
Posted: Oct. 10, 2011

physician with x-raysNearly half of primary care physicians say patients receive too much medical care.

In a study of 627 such physicians, 42% said patients in their practice get too much treatment, and 6% said patients receive too little care. Fifty-two percent of doctors said the amount of care was just right, according to the study published Sept. 26 in Archives of Internal Medicine.

Read the full Article