The State of Defensive Medicine, Part III: BMJ Study: Physician spending and subsequent risk of malpractice claims: observational study

Richard Anderson, Chairman and CEO of The Doctors Company, we discuss the recent study published in the BMJ, titled Physician spending and subsequent risk of malpractice claims: observational study. According to this study, researchers found that physicians who used more resources had a reduced risk of malpractice claims. The study was based on data from admissions to acute care hospitals in Florida from 2000 – 2009, which was linked to the malpractice history of the attending physician.

Dr. Anderson praised the researchers for looking into the issue of defensive medicine, but he had a few caveats involving the results of the study. He noted that, while the study indicates that physician believe that ordering more tests reduces their liability, it is very difficult to separate out the factors involved, stating “…if it is the right test or therapy to order in the first place, then it wasn’t defensive.” He also discussed the high rate of C-sections in the United States as compared to other developed nations, which was an important data component in the study. See below to watch Part III of the interview. For the full interview, click here.

 

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