Category Archives: California

Study: Doctors order tests out of fear of lawsuits

SAN DIEGO (AP) — CT scans, MRIs and other pricey imaging tests are often more for the doctor’s benefit than the patient’s, new research confirms. Roughly one-fifth of tests that bone and joint specialists order are because a doctor fears being sued, not because the patient needs them, a first-of-its-kind study in Pennsylvania suggests. The study comes a day after President Barack Obama began a push to overhaul state medical malpractice laws as a way to reduce unnecessary tests that drive up health care costs. “This study is a glimpse behind the curtain of what’s happening in a doctor’s mind,” said its leader, Dr. John Flynn of Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. If doctors sense you might second-guess them or cause trouble, “you could potentially be risking more tests being done.” Results were reported Wednesday at an American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons conference in California. Patients expect the highest level of care and think this means the most advanced technology, Flynn said. Many patients feel better when a doctor orders lots of tests — until they get the bill. Besides hurting your wallet and adding to health care costs, unnecessary tests can expose people to radiation that accumulates over a lifetime…

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