Tag Archives: Defensive Medicine

What is Defensive Medicine?

Say a middle-aged man goes to the emergency room complaining of chest pain and his doctor is easily able to diagnose the man with indigestion. Rather than sending the man home, the doctor will run a series of tests and procedures to rule out a potential heart attack, despite being fully confident in his indigestion diagnosis. These unnecessary procedures are examples of defensive medicine. Doctors who employ defensive medicine typically do so to safeguard against possible medical malpractice lawsuits. They will order extra tests and unnecessary procedures in order to cover all their bases so that if they are sued for negligence, they can say they ordered the proper tests. According to a national physician’s survey conducted by Jackson Healthcare, more than 75 percent of doctors say they order more procedures and tests than are medically necessary specifically to avoid medical malpractice lawsuits. Legislatures Want to Implement a Patient Compensation…
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How Does Tennessee Want to Change How People File for Medical Malpractice?

In 2011, Tennessee hospitals and doctors pressured the legislature to make changes to the state constitution so that patients who suffer from medical malpractice would receive a cap on the amount of noneconomic damages they receive for pain and suffering. The Patients for Fair Compensation proposal failed at the General Assembly. However, a new proposal has sprung up in its place. Kaiser Family Foundation recently released a poll showing that the cost of health care is among the top concerns for voters. That said, Tennessee lawmakers have created a more audacious proposal that they say will help reduce health care costs. How Do Tennessee Legislatures Want to Eliminate Defensive Medicine? Tennessee lawmakers have created a model to replace what they call a “broken medical malpracticesystem” with the Patients’ Compensation System. The model seeks first and foremost to eliminate defensive medicine, which is when doctors run unnecessary tests and procedures to…
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