Practicing Defensive Medicine to Avoid Lawsuits

Last Updated: Oct 7, 2019

According to the American Medical Association’s (AMA) Medical Liability Reform NOW! The Facts You Need to Know to Address the Broken Medical Liability System, “The broken medical liability system remains one of the most vexing issues for physicians today. It places a wedge between physicians and their patients. It forces physicians to practice defensive medicine.”

Defensive medicine — the practice of physicians and other health care providers ordering medical tests, procedures, or consultations to protect themselves from medical liability lawsuits — increases the cost of health care but does not improve patient outcomes.

So, why do some physicians practice defensive medicine? Simply put, it is the fear of frivolous lawsuits.

This issue was covered in the fall 2019 issue of PAMED's magazine - Pennsylvania Physician.

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