Findings of a new study seem to support the notion that “defensive medicine”—eg, ordering tests even when not specifically indicated clinically—may offer some degree of protection to urgent care centers and other medical facilities. The study, authored by a team from Harvard Medical School led by Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD, found an inverse association between spending and probability of a malpractice claim. In other words, employing greater resources reduced the risk of a malpractice suit. The researchers studied data culled from acute care hospitals in Florida between 2000 and 2009. While they acknowledged the need for more evidence, the authors noted “this is the first study to really answer [the] question” of whether practicing “defensive medicine” offered any legal/economic benefit.
‘Defensive Medicine’ May Actually Lower Malpractice Risk