Wednesday, June 10, 2020

New article refutes arguments regarding "defensive medicine"

In a new article entitled The Paradoxes of Defensive Medicine, authors Michael Saks & Stephan Landsman review the evidence behind the belief that medical malpractice claims lead to defensive medicine and find little support for it.  This is not surprising for those who follow the literature and history of the "tort reform" movement, of course, but it is always good to see new articles on the issue.  The abstract of the article states, in part:
For decades, “defensive medicine” has been the leading argument driving reforms of medical malpractice laws throughout the United States. Defensive medicine is the presumed practice of administering excessive tests and treatments as a stratagem for reducing healthcare providers’ risk of malpractice liability, despite the absence of any expected benefit for the patient. The practice is widely believed to exist throughout American healthcare as a response to fears of malpractice litigation, and thought to be enormously wasteful of healthcare dollars. In consequence, it has become a justification for law reforms insulating the healthcare industry from tort liability. These claims are promoted by the healthcare industry even though they imply that most providers routinely engage in healthcare fraud and violate their own ethical rules. 
If you subscribe to SSRN, you can download the article here.

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