Study: Defensive Medicine Adds Billions in Medical Costs
Defensive medicine costs make up between 26% and 34% of the $2.5 trillion spent annually on health care in the U.S., or between $650 billion and $850 billion, according to a Jackson Healthcare report. The report -- based on a summary of physician opinions on defensive medicine obtained through a survey -- concluded that many physicians alleviate fears of being sued by ordering tests and treatments that can inflate health care spending. According to the analysis, physicians working under contract with the federal government were significantly less likely to use defensive medicine than physicians working in private practice.
- "Defensive Medicine Adds Billions to Annual U.S. Health Care Costs" (Letourneau, Healthcare Finance News, 9/23).