Monthly Archives: August 2013

Doctors’ Fear is Making Us Sick

A new study published in HealthAffairs highlights physician over-treatment of patients, based on the physician’s fear of lawsuit.

We found that physicians who reported a high level of malpractice concern were most likely to engage in practices that would be considered defensive when diagnosing patients who visited their offices with new complaints of chest pain, headache, or lower back pain. No consistent relationship was seen, however, when state-level indicators of malpractice risk replaced self-rated concern. Reducing defensive medicine may require approaches focused on physicians’ perceptions of legal risk and the underlying factors driving those perceptions.

Here are 5 reasons this over-treatment is hurting us:

Continue reading