Kevin Pho, from the Kevin MD blog (and former guest on The Doctor Anonymous Show), is one of the most recognized medical bloggers out there. This morning, Kevin has an op-ed published over on the USA Today website about defensive medicine entitled "Wasted Medical Dollars." Here's an excerpt:
A recent analysis by PricewaterhouseCoopers concluded that more than half of the dollars in our $2.2 trillion health care system are wasted.Kudos to Kevin for not only bringing more light on this subject, but also bringing more light onto the medical blogosphere through his writing and opinions. Spread the word about his op-ed today. Blog about it. This topic is very important, and Kevin has done so much for our blogging community. Keep it up, Kevin MD!
Medical errors, inefficient use of information technology, and poorly managed chronic diseases were all cited as factors. Dwarfing these reasons is a phenomenon in which doctors order tests to avoid the threat of a malpractice lawsuit. This is known as 'defensive medicine.'
At $210 billion annually, defensive medicine is one of the largest contributors to wasteful spending, and it can manifest in many forms: unnecessary CT scans, MRIs, cardiac testing and hospital admissions. A 2005 survey in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that 93% of doctors reported practicing defensive medicine.