NPR Article: ” Costs of Defensive Medicine May Be Overstated”

This article from NPR caught my eye.  Rep. Tom Price (R-GA), a physician, said recently on the House Republican website America Speaking Out that the tab runs "an astounding $650 billion each year. That’s 26 percent of all money spent on health care."  

As the article notes, 

 a series of studies published in the current issue of the policy journal Health Affairs suggests that number is not only dramatically too high, but that most of the popular proposals for addressing the medical malpractice problem — particularly capping damages for "pain and suffering" would do little to reduce the practice of defensive medicine.

The article also points to an interesting study which concluded that

capping damages for pain and suffering, which is the top malpractice solution favored by most doctor groups, "was not associated with a significant difference in perceived malpractice risk."

The health care industry has been actively working to restrict patient rights for the last 35 years.  Can you imagine what good would have been accomplished if all of that effort had been put into patient safety projects?


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