90% of physicians agree $600B a year wasted on "Defensive Medicine"!

Discussion in 'Healthcare/Insurance/Govt Healthcare' started by healthmyths, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. healthmyths
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    healthmyths VIP Member Supporting Member

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    I don't understand some of you people who trust your physician's opinion but totally disregard what they are telling you!
    In their words NOT MINE!!!
    For some that STILL think this is about rising malpractice premiums
    IT IS NOT! That cost is minimal less the 1% and NOT the issue!
    Some idiots here quote the CBO which while correct about the percentage gave some the impression that was the issue. IT IS NOT!
    Just read what the EXPERTS say.

    The Hidden Costs of Healthcare
    10:51 pm May 18, 2011,
    Wayne Oliver - vice president, Center for Health Transformation

    "But there is a hidden cost of healthcare that no one wants to talk about and it’s one you’re going to start hearing more about: defensive medicine.

    In healthcare, there can be “side effects” of medical procedures or prescription drugs. And, there is a rather significant “side effect” from the failure to do something about nuisance lawsuits filed against physicians. That side effect is called “defensive medicine.”

    So we are clear, when physicians practice “defensive medicine,” they usually order unnecessary tests or procedures just in case they get sued.
    According to a 2010 survey of physicians by Gallup for Alpharetta-based Jackson Healthcare, one of every four dollars spent in health care goes to defensive medicine."
    http://www.jacksonhealthcare.com/media-room/press-releases/cht-jh-release.aspx
    NOTE: [$2.5 trillion in 2010 total health care expenditures or $600 billion equals " one of every four dollars" ]



    "The practice of defensive medicine is incredibly widespread and pervasive. Nearly every physician surveyed by Gallup indicated that he or she had ordered unnecessary tests or procedures, admitted patients to hospitals or other costly settings or prescribed unneeded prescription medications in the last year.

    Defensive medicine is not only inconvenient as we are herded from one unnecessary test to the next, it is also very costly.
    And who picks up the tab for defensive medicine? We all do.

    How many times have we been given an unnecessary x-ray or CT scan for a routine illness or accident? A lot. How many times have we been referred to a “specialist” for “further evaluation?” Too many.

    But rarely do we as patients ever question it. Well, to be candid, the physicians who provide care and treat our illness or disease do it over and over again to protect themselves from lawsuits. More specifically, physicians do their best to avoid lawsuits by subjecting all of us — their patients — to excessive and unnecessary tests and procedures.

    When doctors are protected from frivolous lawsuits, they will stop ordering unnecessary tests, exams, drugs and procedures.
    In turn, patients, doctors, hospitals, providers and taxpayers will save billions of dollars in a healthcare system that never seems to stop escalating in cost.

    The Hidden Costs of Healthcare | HealthFlock
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011
  2. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Silver Member

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    And 100% of doctors are not going to tell you that they practice over-utilization for financial gain.

    And 100% of doctors are not going to tell you that US physicians earn double the income of their peers in other industrialized countries.

    And 100% of doctors are not going to tell you that including legal fees, insurance costs, and payouts, the cost of medical malpractice lawsuits comes to less than one-half of 1 percent of health-care spending.

    And 100% of doctors are not going to tell you that 1.7 million patients in the United States each year acquire infections in hospitals, clinics and other health care settings, racking up an annual cost of $6.5 billion and contributing to more than 90,000 deaths annually because doctors don't WASH THEIR FUCKING HANDS.
     
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  3. healthmyths
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    healthmyths VIP Member Supporting Member

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    First NONE of your points are valid as you do NOT substantiate with sources..I DID!

    Second..practice over-utilization for financial gain."
    You are aware that the doctor in referring to tests, and specialist doesn't make a dime?

    Third.. the machine shop mechanic/doctors in other countries.. clock in and clock out!

    Forth.. IDIOT!! I specifically agreed premiums were a small part! Did you not read that? I'm copying for you again and shouting:
    Ffor some that STILL think this is about rising malpractice premiums
    IT IS NOT! That cost is minimal less the 1% and NOT the issue!

    Stupid unintelligent argument!

    Fifth.. last point.. is absolutely right on target and I agree! That and their stupid neckties, and their Stethescopes.. when was the last time you saw them cleaned?
    BUT THAT IS NOT DEFENSIVE MEDICAL practices!
    THAT DEFINITELY is NOT done in fear of lawsuits!

    Do you get it???

    Lawyers drive lawsuits and for some reason you are defending these millionaire, ambulance chasing hearse chasing vultures!
    Lawyers made $100 billion last year and gave Obama/Democrats $300 million!
    NOW DO YOU UNDERSTAND why there was NO Tort reform in Obamacare???
     
  4. healthmyths
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    healthmyths VIP Member Supporting Member

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    For those of you that really have problems understanding what is at stake:
    $600 billion a year because of fear of lawsuits!
    The below link to a good summary of the people like me who are trying to educate people about lawyers /fear of lawsuits that drive this $600 billion and by people defending lawyers.. pure and simple!
    The following link shows the one side (PRO yes )made up of doctors and others that are saying $600 billion is spent out of fear of being sued.
    The other side made up of college law teachers (CON no) primarily don't understand it is NOT malpractice premiums that are the issue!
    Even these idiots use that arguement.. and say it is a small % which is RIGHT!
    BUT not the problem!
    Would medical malpractice reform (tort reform) significantly reduce the cost of health care?

    Would medical malpractice reform (tort reform) significantly reduce the cost of health care? - Health Care Reform - ProCon.org
     
  5. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    Defensive medicine or thorough medicine?

    And yes many doctors have a finiancial interest in the MRI center and such that they send you to.
     
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  6. healthmyths
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    healthmyths VIP Member Supporting Member

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    I am trying to get uninformed people who have been totally misdirected by Obama/Democrats/lawyers away from the # 1 cost driver "fear of lawsuits" to understand what doctors and providers are shouting loudly! $600 billion in unnecessary tests,referrals,wasted time, and misdirection all spent because of fear of lawsuits!
    The $600 billion figure is directly spent and paid by insurance companies/Medicare and those costs passed on to US!
    And those are DIRECT costs... any of you capable of figuring out how many lives literally were lost be cause doctors were either in court testifying, or giving depositions or preparing for a lawsuit? Billions of dollars for sure but how many lives due to absence and inattentiveness because the doctors worrying about the suit!

    NO you defenders of millionaire lawyers seemingly don't understand the nearly trillion in direct and indirect costs totally associated with the "fear of " and indirect and direct costs all because you defenders either are making money or just ignorant!
     
  7. healthmyths
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    healthmyths VIP Member Supporting Member

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    Hey... I substantiate...
    where is your "And yes many doctors have a finiancial interest in the MRI center and such that they send you to."

    HOw many.
    And you evidently NEVER heard of the Stark law, actually three separate provisions, governs physician self-referral for Medicare and Medicaid patients.

    Here learn more about the penalties,etc....
    Stark Law - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

    I would believe you more if you substantiated your guesses!
     
  8. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Silver Member

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    Your screen name is what you post...health myths.

    EDUCATE YOURSELF. I have posted links for you to read from a 20 year executive at CIGNA who will tell you what is going on. WHY do you continue to ignore the facts?

    You want my links, here you go, and a bunch more for you to ignore.

    The Perfect Storm of Overutilization

    The Medical Malpractice Myth

    Why Don’t Doctors Wash Their Hands More?

    The Attack on Trial Lawyers and Tort Law

    U.S. Chamber of Commerce Continues to Beat Tort Reform Drum

    THE DEFENSIVE MEDICINE MYTH


    A June 1, 2009, New Yorker magazine article by Dr. Atul Gawande, “The Cost Conundrum; What a Texas town can teach us about health care,” explored why the town of McAllen, Texas, “was the country’s most expensive place for health care.” The following exchange took place with a group of doctors and Dr. Gawande:

    “It’s malpractice,” a family physician who had practiced here for thirty-three years said. “McAllen is legal hell,” the cardiologist agreed. Doctors order unnecessary tests just to protect themselves, he said. Everyone thought the lawyers here were worse than elsewhere.

    That explanation puzzled me. Several years ago, Texas passed a tough malpractice law that capped pain-and-suffering awards at two hundred and fifty thousand dollars. Didn’t lawsuits go down? “Practically to zero,” the cardiologist admitted.

    “Come on,” the general surgeon finally said. “We all know these arguments are bullshit. There is overutilization here, pure and simple.” Doctors, he said, were racking up charges with extra tests, services, and procedures.

    Here’s what the studies say:

    Annenberg Center. In 2005, the Annenberg Center’s reputable “Factcheck.org” challenged the insurance industry’s use of bogus statistics and argument that medical malpractice limits would save health care costs based on considerations like defensive medicine. “Insurance Industry Ad Makes Fishy Claim About Lawyers; Lobby groups fight like animals over health care costs - implausible statistics vs. fact-free stereotypes,” April 19, 2005.

    Congressional Budget Office. Congressional Budget Office, Limiting Tort Liability for Medical Malpractice 1, 6 (Jan. 8, 2004).

    “Malpractice costs account for less than 2 percent of [health care] spending,” and “savings from reducing defensive medicine would be very small.” Limiting tort liability would have no significant impact on health care spending.

    “ome so-called defensive medicine may be motivated less by liability concerns than by the income it generates for physicians or by the positive (albeit small) benefits to patients....

    National Bureau of Economic Research: Katherine Baicker, Amitabh Chandra, “The Effect Of Malpractice Liability On The Delivery Of Health Care,” Working Paper 10709, (August 2004.)

    “The fact that we see very little evidence of widespread physician exodus or dramatic increases in the use of defensive medicine in response to increases in state malpractice premiums places the more dire predictions of malpractice alarmists in doubt. The arguments that state tort reforms will avert local physician shortages or lead to greater efficiencies in care are not supported by our findings.”

    General Accountability Office: Analysis of Medical Malpractice: Implications of Rising Premiums on Access to Health Care, General Accounting Office, GAO-03-836, Released August 29, 2003

    Noting everything from low response rates to surveys (10 and 15 percent) and the general failure of surveys to indicate whether physicians engaged in “defensive behaviors on a daily basis or only rarely, or whether they practice them with every patient or only with certain types of patients,” the GAO found both AMA and American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons surveys on defensive medicine highly unreliable.

    “Officials from AMA and several medical, hospital, and nursing home associations in the nine states we reviewed … cited surveys and published research but could not provide additional data demonstrating the extent and costs associated with defensive medicine.

    “Some officials pointed out that factors besides defensive medicine concerns also explain differing utilization rates of diagnostic and other procedures. For example, a Montana hospital association official said that revenue-enhancing motives can encourage the utilization of certain types of diagnostic tests, while officials from Minnesota and California medical associations identified managed care as a factor that can mitigate defensive practices. “According to some research, managed care provides a financial incentive not to offer treatments that are unlikely to have medical benefit.”

    Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) U.S. Congress, Office of Technology Assessment, Defensive Medicine and Medical Malpractice, OTA-H--6O2 (1994):

    Even before the widespread onset of managed care, the congressional Office of Technology Assessment (OTA) found that less than 8 percent of all diagnostic procedures were likely to be caused primarily by liability concerns.

    OTA found that most physicians who “order aggressive diagnostic procedures . . . do so primarily because they believe such procedures are medically indicated, not primarily because of concerns about liability.” The effects of “tort reform” on defensive medicine “are likely to be small.”

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    And finally, WHO your linked article IS:

    Center for Health Transformation (CHT), a think tank founded in 2003 in Washington, D.C., by former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich.

    Founding Charter Members

    AstraZeneca
    BlueCross BlueShield Association
    Booz Allen Hamilton
    Cancer Treatment Centers of America
    DaimlerChrysler
    Ford Motor Company
    Gallup Organization
    GE Healthcare
    General Motors Corporation
    GlaxoSmithKline
    Healthways
    MedImpact
    Novo Nordisk
    Sanford
    SHPS
    Siemens
    Sutter Health
    UnitedHealth Group
    ValueOptions

    Platinum Members

    Allscripts
    AT&T
    Barr Laboratories
    INTEGRIS Health
    Misys Center for Community Health Leadership
    UPS
    WellPoint, Inc

    Premier Members

    American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)
    American Hospital Association (AHA)
    American Medical Group Association (AMGA)
    America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP)
    Amylin Pharmaceuticals
    Arcapita
    College of Healthcare Information Management Executives (CHIME)
    Covisint
    D2Hawkeye
    deCode genetics
    Emageon
    Georgia Hospital Association (GHA)
    HealthTrio
    Hospital Corporation of America (HCA)
    Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS)
    Intermountain Healthcare
    Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems Inc.
    Kelly Services
    MedAssets
    Medical Justice Services, Inc.
    MinuteClinic
    Piedmont Healthcare
    Quest Diagnostics
    Quovadx, Inc.
    Saint Joseph’s Hospital
    sanofi-aventis
    SAP America
    Sheridan Healthcare
    Society for Neuroscience
    TelaDoc
    United Cerebral Palsy
    WellStar
    Wyeth Pharmaceuticals
    You Take Control, Inc

    Contact information

    1425 K Street, NW
    Suite 450
    Washington, DC 20005

    K Street is a major thoroughfare in the United States capital of Washington, D.C. known as a center for numerous think tanks, lobbyists, and advocacy groups.
     
  9. uscitizen
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    uscitizen Senior Member

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    My Doctor is part owner in the MRI center in the same building.
    The stark law does not cover those not covered by medicare/medicaid?
    And are there no loopholes? Such as their wife technically owning the interest in the referred to business?
     
  10. Dont Taz Me Bro
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    I went to my allergist a few years ago because I had severe allergies. He gave me a prescription, but also an order for an MRI at the building at the end of the parking lot to make sure I didn't have a sinus infection. Since I have an HSA and hadn't met my yearly deductible yet, I asked them first how much the MRI was going to be. They told me $500 so I didn't have it done. I knew I didn't have a sinus infection because I've had them in the past and know what they feel like.

    People never think to ask first how much the procedure will cost. Even if you have insurance you should still ask. Those unnecessary medical charges are one of the things raising the cost of health care.
     
  11. healthmyths
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    healthmyths VIP Member Supporting Member

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    THANK YOU!!!
    Your action is EXACTLY what the MAJORITY of people should do i.e. QUESTION with common sense!
    And as a result YES your contribution by NOT having the expensive test done was what most people should do!
    Ask how much this is going to cost!
    I applaud you for your common sense and intelligence to know what is right.
    You are in the minority because our educational system is NOT teaching kids to think for themselves as the teachers have been so brainwashed by their so called educators!
    Again thanks for thinking!
     
  12. healthmyths
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    healthmyths VIP Member Supporting Member

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    Don't give me anecdotals!
    That's what has gotten us in trouble so far.. idiots like Obama claiming pediatricians perform tonsilectomies to collect surgery fees, family practice doctors amputating diabetics legs so they can make $50k? Or Obama hauling up a woman who WAS COVERED.
    There is NO question THAT is PART of the problem also.. AND in some undocumented cases physicians do that under the guise of "defensive medicine"!
    But you tell me other then the FACT lawyers gave Congress/Obama $300 million why the tanning salons are surcharged 10% in ObamaCare and NOT lawyers that made $100 billion? Why are ambulance chasers Protected by you in objecting to what 90% of physicians are saying that $600 billion a year in unnecessary defensive medicine!
    My realities immensely outweigh your anecdotal illustration!
    90% of the physicians are telling you WHAT they are doing i.e. out of fear of lawsuits!
     
  13. editec
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    I wouldn't doubt that.

    Defensive medicine is the extra dollars spent insuring that every knowable potential problem has been checked out.

    A PAP smear or checking older men every year for prostate cancer are two sensible examples of DEFENCIVE MEDICINE.

    But the complaint is, and I think it probably has some merit, that much of that kind of defecive medicine is wasteful.

    And it is, too UNLESS those additional tests actually FIND something.

    So parcing out WASTEFUL DEFENCIVE MEDICINE from USEFUL DEFENCIVE MEDICINE isn't exactly as easy as we might imagine.
     
  14. healthmyths
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    healthmyths VIP Member Supporting Member

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    Yes it is hard to distinguish between NEEDED and DEFENSIVE medical practices.. but to entirely ignore the $600 billion as Obamacare did BECAUSE lawyers making $100 billion a year PAID Obama/Congress $300 million WHILE evidently the measly Tanning Salon people DIDN'T evidently PAY are taxed?

    And again.. I'm not saying this the physicians are complaining because THEY know everytime they send a MRI, et.al. it is only because they DON"T WANT to be sued!
    Also that figure I used came from the physicians.. "$1 of every $4 spent is for defensive practices".
    I mean who would BEST know if the referral for defensive medicine if NOT the person responsible! I have to laugh at the millionaire lawyer minions here on this thread attempting to prove the magnitude is NOT $600 billion but some lesser figure !
    NONE of the ambulance chaser defenders CITE the people who make the decisions i.e. physicians! I did!
    So whether the problem is ONLY $100 billion or $600 billion WHY was it NOT addressed in Obamacare?
    More importantly continued ambulance chaser defense is so idiotic as these same defenders of lawyers are the same people that defend the Occupy wall street protesters in many ways.. i.e. these defenders don't deal in FACTS based on the people that are responsible i.e. doctors.. and yet these ambulance chaser defenders don't want to attack the millionaire lawyers!
     
  15. old navy
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    Defensive medicine is practiced to defend the physician, not protect the patient.

    One of the above links discusses the small amount of dollars awarded by juries. The fact is, most malpractice claims never make it to trial or the law suit even being filed. Claims are settled out of court with the defendent's insurance company paying out.

    The technilogical imperative has physicians ordering tests and exams that are possibly un-necessary, as well as ordering them due to defensive medicine. There are so many machines that diagnose illnesses and conditions that the doc feels the necessity to order them because the patient will demand them anyway. Many times, patients will go straight to the MRI room before the E.R. physician even takes a history, much less does an exam.

    Another reason for the rise in HC costs is Big PHARMA advertising. Research used to be the big driver in drug costs (along with CEO salaries) but about 20 or so years ago, congress approved the advertising of drugs to consumers. The ad costs combined with the physician feeling pressured by the marketed patient has caused drug, and with it, HC costs to sky-rocket.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2011

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