Defensive medicine refers to any medical practice that a doctor or healthcare professional undertakes not to serve the best interests of the patient, but to avoid or minimize the chance of a malpractice lawsuit. Defensive medicine results in billions of wasted dollars every year, a price that eventually trickles down to the patient.
Examples of Defensive Medicine
When a healthcare professional bases a decision not on what is best for the patient, but on what will give him or her the least exposure to liability, the professional is practicing defensive medicine.
Some examples of defensive medicine include:
- Ordering unnecessary tests.
- Prescribing medication at higher doses or for longer periods than necessary.
- Overtreating patients with antibiotics.
- Avoiding high-risk patients.
- Performing unnecessary procedures.
A disconcerting aspect of defensive medicine is that most patients have no idea when it is being practiced on them.
The Cost of Defensive Medicine
According to a 2014 report in JAMA Internal Medicine, the practice of defensive medicine costs Americans around $46 billion each year. Equally concerning is how pervasive the practice is. The same report found that 28 percent of orders and 13 percent of costs reviewed were at least partially defensive, while nearly three percent were completely defensive.
For Help With a Medical Malpractice Issue, Call Newsome Melton Today at 855-633-2757 for a Free Case Evaluation
The medical malpractice attorneys at Newsome Melton want to hear from you about any issues you are facing. We can help you recover damages for injuries you suffered in a medical malpractice incident. To get a free consultation, call 855-633-2757 today.
Defensive Medicine - Frequently Asked Questions
Many infections require medical treatment in order to heal. When you seek medical attention for an infection and don’t receive treatment, you may have grounds for a medical malpractice lawsuit against the medical personnel or hospital that should have provided the treatment. What is Medical Negligence? All doctors, nurses and hospitals are required to followRead More
It is difficult to track how many patients die in treatment centers during alcohol detoxification in the United States. We do, however, know there are thousands of treatment facilities nationwide that serve those hoping to break their dependence on drugs or alcohol. This number includes the treatment centers where more than 3,300 people died duringRead More
Defensive Medicine - News Articles
One of the largest medical malpractice cases in Maryland’s history was settled earlier this month for a confidential amount. Nearly 250 patients have settled their civil lawsuits against Dr. Mark Midei and Catholic Health Initiatives, the company who owned St. Joseph’s, accusing the cardiologist of implanting unnecessary heart stents in them. According to The BaltimoreRead More
Jump To: The Law of Medical Malpractice in Mississippi:I. Overview of Basic Principles and ConceptsII. Filing Deadlines for Medical Malpractice ClaimsIII. Presuit Notice and Medical Expert ConsultationIV. Immunities and Limitations on LiabilityV. Medical Expert WitnessesVI. Comparative Negligence / Proportionate LiabilityVII. Limitations on DamagesVIII. Limitations on Attorney FeesIX. Patient Compensation FundsX. Apologies and Sympathetic GesturesXI. CommunicationsRead More