A recent study revealed that the more tests and treatments U.S. doctors order for patients, the less likely they are to be sued for malpractice, according to a study published online in the BMJ.
The study was conducted in Florida, the place that has the most expensive care between 2000 and 2009, and where also were less likely to be sued between 2001 and 2010. They investigated whether physicians in seven different specialties with higher average hospital charges in a year were less likely to face an allegation of malpractice in the following year.
The data used on the study showed that nearly 25,000 doctors, who oversaw about 18.3 million hospital admissions, are facing over 4,300 malpractice claims.
Even when it’s commonly accepted that doctors practice defensive medicine, no studies have been able to answer whether the practice actually reduces the risk of lawsuits.
Although the results can’t prove extra expenditures are due to defensive medicine, the researchers found that when using greater resources, the rates of alleged malpractice in doctors lower significantly.
Dr. Anupam Jena, of Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston and lead author, said, “By no means would I consider it to be conclusive, but it does signal to us that defensive medicine could work in lowering malpractice risk, but more research is needed to know if that’s true or not,” as said on Business Insider.