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Doctors that Spend More Are Less Likely to be Sued

Update Date: Nov 10, 2015 09:50 AM EST

A new U.S. study reveals that the doctors who provide more care than is necessary will run a lesser risk of being accused of malpractice. While the findings do not prove if the extra spending can be attributed to defensive medication, it was found by the researchers that the doctors in Florida who recommended and provided costlier care between 2000 and 2009 were the least likely doctors to be indicted between 2001 and 2010. Dr. Anupam Jena of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, said "By no means would I consider it to be conclusive, but it does signal to us that defensive medicine could work in lowering malpractice risk, but more research is needed to know if that's true or not". In the paper, Dr. Jena and his colleagues write that the ones critical of the U.S. Malpractice system believe that it is encouraging the doctors to suggest defensive medication, that is to provide more healthcare than required, to mitigate the risk of lawsuits, repots Reuters.

According to Jena, "If you ask physicians what's the number one concern they have when you talk to them about their careers, I would say malpractice will come up as one of their top concerns". It is well known that the doctors are prescribing defensive medicine but the researchers believe that there are no studies that can answer whether it mitigates the lawsuit risks. In this study, Jena and his team underwent the data from Florida hospitals, studying doctors belonging to seven medical specialties and analyzed that they were less likely to face a lawsuit in the year following which they stacked higher medical bills. Jena said as per his findings, "If you look at doctors who spend more in a given specialty, higher spending physicians get sued less often than low spending physicians," reports Reuters.

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