Medical Malpractice in Connecticut: Defensive Medicine, Real Problem or a Red Herring – Example of Assessment of Quality Outcomes Variables
Goran Ridic, Tim Howard, Ognjen Ridic
Acta Inform Med. 2012; 20(1): 32-39
Material and method: Using the survey data obtained from doctors in Connecticut, we estimate the “true” costs of defensive medicine and medical malpractice awards via litigation in the overall aggregate picture of U.S. national annual health expenditures. Results and discusion: Progressives claim that these costs amount only to approximately 2% of total annual health expenditures, while conservatives claim that these costs are much higher, in the neighborhood of 10%. Conservatives want to reform the current medical malpractice system because the savings could be significant. Progressives claim that this issue is a “red herring” in the overall picture of health care reform and that other factors such as hospital costs, payments to physicians and pharmaceutical prices are the largest contributors to runaway health care costs, currently amounting to 18% of GDP. The health of the national economy, deficit reduction and future prosperity will depend upon the speed and quality of the cost reducing solutions. Conclusion: An in-depth look into cost and profit structure of each provider‘s procedure and legislative push for price and quality transparency of the informed and educated constituents are recommended to improve this serious national, socio-economic problem.
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