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ER Doctors Over-Prescribing Tests to Avoid Malpractice Lawsuits

| March 25, 2015 Comment

ER Doctors Over-Prescribing Tests to Avoid Malpractice Lawsuits – According to a new report, as much as $210 billion is spent on needless MRIs and CT scans.

Researchers surveyed 435 ER physicians and 97 of them said they orders scans that were not necessary because they wanted to cover all their bases and did not want to be sued for malpractice. The ER doctors also believed that many other in their departments were doing this.

Apart from cost, unnecessary imaging tests also expose patients to other needless risks, such as radiation, biopsies, tests and other harmful treatments. According to researchers, patients should take a more proactive approach in their medical care, and ask their doctors if the recommended tests are really needed, and consider the pros and cons of such scans and procedures carefully before submitting to them.

Medical malpractice lawsuits have long been a concern for doctors in the US, and they have been calling for medical liability reform. According to Kaplan, “safe harbor” legislation can prevent such over-prescription of tests, as it “would protect physicians from lawsuits if they are following evidence-based medical guidelines in caring for patients.”

The study was published March 24th in the journal, Academic Emergency Medicine.


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