Crouse Health Online: Wellness is just a click away.
Share Share
  |  Connect with Us: 
large
med
small
Text Size
 

Health News



Doctors Still Fear Malpractice Lawsuits, U.S. Study Finds

Doctors Still Fear Malpractice Lawsuits, U.S. Study Finds

12/21/10

TUESDAY, Dec. 21 (HealthDay News) -- A new study finds that while doctors are fearful of being sued for malpractice, their worries are greater than their actual risk of landing in court.

"We found that both generalist and specialist physicians fear being sued for malpractice even in states where their risk of being sued is relatively low," senior study author Dr. David Katz, associate professor of medicine with University of Iowa Health Care, said in a university news release. "One likely explanation is that physicians' concerns about malpractice are driven more by their perception that the malpractice tort process is unfair and arbitrary and less by their actual risk of getting sued."

The investigators also found that legislation designed to get a handle on malpractice costs hasn't made physicians any less worried about being sued. And such reforms may not convince doctors to change their approach to so-called defensive medicine: being ultra-cautious in order to prevent litigation, perhaps by doing things like ordering unnecessary tests.

The study authors, who published their findings in a recent issue of the journal Health Affairs, surveyed doctors around the country. Physicians were very worried about malpractice regardless of their specialties or where they lived.

Even those in states with low levels of malpractice risk -- less than one-third of the risk in the higher-risk states -- were quite concerned that they might get sued. "The high levels of malpractice concern, even among physicians in relatively low-risk environments, is striking," Katz said. "One possible explanation is that most physicians do not have the information to accurately access their actual risk of being sued."

More information

The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality has details on how you can prevent medical errors.

Copyright © 2010 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

OF INTEREST:
 

Latest News

Crouse First in Area to Perform Single-Site Hysterectomy
more >

MedEx Bedside Prescription Delivery Service

Free service offers convenience, patient education at discharge.
more >

CrouseSports Express After-Hours Ortho Care

Immediate care of orthopedic injuries in kids and adults.
more >

Weight Loss Surgery

Is it right for you? Attend a free information seminar held twice monthly.
more >

Quality at Crouse

See how Crouse Hospital strives to provide the best in patient care.
more >

Cheer Up That Special Someone

Say get well or welcome a new arrival with a gift purchased right at Crouse.

more >

Make an Online Donation Now

Your donation of any amount helps support Crouse services & programs in a meaningful way.
more >

Shop Online Now

Say get well, thinking of you or welcome new baby with a unique gift from the Crouse Gift Shop.

more >