The debate about defensive medicine has been going on for some time, with many medical experts questioning the validity and safety of performing extensive, often unnecessary tests in order to minimize liability if a patient later accuses the physician of negligence.
Surveys conducted estimate that defensive medicine practices cost the U.S. between $650 to $850 billion annually. A panel of physician groups representing the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation officially announced a list of 45 common medical tests and procedures that doctors should perform less often, determining that these tests are often unnecessary, which can actually make them more harmful for the patient.
The list of tests and procedures includes EKGs done routinely during a physical, even when there is no sign of heart trouble, M.R.I.’s ordered whenever a patient complains of back pain, and antibiotics prescribed for mild sinusitis.
Other specialty boards have also assembled panels which have issued recommendations for physicians ordering tests which may not be necessary or appropriate for the symptoms a patient is presenting with. If you or a loved one has been the victim of defensive medicine, a medical error or other healthcare complication, you should consult with an experienced Virginia medical malpractice attorney. Our VA medical malpractice law firm has earned a reputation of experience and success representing victims against doctors, hospitals, and other health care providers. Feel free to read our FAQ’s about medical malpractice.
EKG image courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net