Monday, January 10, 2011

Huffington Post Puts Defensive Medicine on Trial

An article on Huffington Post puts defensive medicine on trial: It's Time to Call Their Bluff: "Defensive Medicine" Is a Fraud. The January 6 post by Joanne Doroshow states:
While anonymous doctor surveys provide the principal foundation for the argument that widespread "defensive medicine" exists, credible organizations who have looked into the issue have had a very hard time identifying pervasive "defensive medicine," especially when managed care companies are paying the bill.
But, writes Doroshow, there is another issue.
In these anonymous surveys, doctors never actually identify specific tests or procedures they have conducted for the primary purpose of avoiding a lawsuit, let alone a service they would no longer perform if severe "tort reform" were enacted. There is no better illustration of this than the June 1, 2009, New Yorker magazine article called "The Cost Conundrum; What a Texas town can teach us about health care," by Dr. Atul Gawande. This widely-circulated article explored why the town of McAllen, Texas "was the country's most expensive place for health care."

Click through to read the full Huffington Post, and to link through to The New Yorker article Cost Conundrum.

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