Michael H. Bereston, Inc.

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Phone: 410-793-4554

Toll Free: 866-517-4037

Tort reform: the solution for high healthcare costs?

Many politicians from both sides of the aisle argue that tort reform is one of the key pillars to control healthcare costs. They claim that physicians practice "defensive medicine" to protect themselves from potential medical malpractice suits. Defensive medicine occurs when doctors run additional (or extraneous) tests to stave off potential medical malpractice. Proponents of reform argue that this dramatically raises health care costs.

But a study conducted by Cardozo University reviewed several government reports, which refute that assumption. The study examined reports from several government entities including the Congressional Office of Technology Assessment and the Congressional Budget Office.

The OTA determined that, at most, eight percent of diagnostic and medical tests ordered by physicians were done to prevent potential medical malpractice suits. Some medical malpractice suits are conducted on the assumption that a doctor should have done something different. In anticipation of this argument, some doctors may order tests to cover all of their bases. Contrary to that position, the OTA found most doctors order additional tests because they determine that they are medically necessary.

Furthermore, the CBO found in its report that what proponents call "defensive medicine," has little to do with malpractice, and occurs when physicians try to drive up medical care costs. Many doctors are paid on a per-procedure basis and, therefore, the more procedures ordered, the more the doctor earns.

A lawsuit is probably the last thing on your mind when you find out that you suffered a medical error. But you cannot ignore the problem or hope it will go away. More likely than not, you will need to go through additional medical treatment. A lawyer can ensure that you receive the compensation you require to pay for those treatments. You shouldn't pay for the cost to remedy the injury you suffered, a lawyer can work to get you the compensation you deserve.

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Office Location

Michael H. Bereston, Inc.
138 Main Street, Suite 200
P.O. Box 2990
Annapolis, MD 21401

Maryland: 410-793-4554
Toll Free: 866-517-4037
Baltimore/Annapolis: 410-269-5011
DC: 202-628-2226
Fax: 410-269-5022

Annapolis Medical Malpractice Office

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