The BMJ: Physician spending and subsequent risk of malpractice claims: observational study

theBMJ logoA recent study published in the BMJ titled: Physician spending and subsequent risk of malpractice claims: observational study gives us some much needed insight into the following question:

Is a higher use of resources by physicians associated with a reduced risk of malpractice claims?

The researchers used data for almost every admission to acute care hospitals in the state of Florida between 2000-2009, which was linked to the malpractice history of the attending physician. “This study investigated whether physicians in seven specialties with higher-than-average hospital charges in a year were less likely to face an allegation of malpractice in the following year, adjusting for patient characteristics, comorbidities, and diagnosis. To provide clinical context, the study focused on obstetrics, where the choice of caesarean deliveries are suggested to be influenced by defensive medicine, and whether obstetricians with higher adjusted caesarean rates in a year had fewer alleged malpractice incidents the following year.”
Click here to read the findings of this groundbreaking study.

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