Defensive Medicine Costs Mass. at Least $1.4 Billion

Surgeons- tiny image
Today, the Mass. Medical Society released a study showing that defensive medicine wastes at least $1.4 billion annually in Massachusetts. These are tests, procedures, referrals,
hospitalizations, or prescriptions ordered by physicians, solely out an excessive concern over being sued. Dr. Alan Woodward said, “Physicians practice defensive medicine because
they don’t trust the medical liability system."

This is a low-ball figure, coming from a survey of just eight specialties. This estimate does not include tests and diagnostic procedures ordered by
physicians in other specialties, observation admissions to hospitals,
specialty referrals and consultations, or unnecessary prescriptions. The
eight specialties represented in the survey account for only 46 percent
of the physicians in the state.

While defensive medicine has been studied by many researchers, we believe it's the first study of defensive medicine of this scope ever conducted.

Read a news release about the study.
Read a summary of the study.

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