Poll: Fear of Lawsuits Drives Number of Tests Ordered for 44% of Emergency Physicians

In a poll, nearly half (44 percent) of approximately 1,800 emergency physicians report that the biggest challenge to cutting costs in the emergency department is the fear of lawsuits, and 53 percent of respondents said the main reason they conduct the number of tests they do is out of fear of being sued, according to an American College of Emergency Physicians news release.

Sandra Schneider, MD, president of ACEP, said medical liability reform will not only help reduce costs of defensive medicine — sitting at approximately $60 billion to $151 billion per year — but may also help increase the number of specialists willing to take on-calls in hospital emergency departments.

The ACEP poll also reveals the second-largest challenge to cutting costs, according to 19.8 percent of respondents, is the increase in uninsured patients because physicians are unwilling to treat them.

Read the ACEP news release about medical liability reform.

Related Articles on Tort Reform:
Number of Medical Malpractice Suits Plummet Following Passage of Tort Reform
Protect Physician Pay, But Not at Hospitals' Expense, AHA Says
Study: Physicians Fear Malpractice Suits Regardless of Actual Risk

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