Written by Laura Dyrda
Medical malpractice rates and tort reform have been a huge factor contributing to high healthcare costs.
Tort reform was not addressed at a national level as part of healthcare reform, and many physicians are advocating for reform at the state level, under the pretense that it would lower healthcare costs.
A study published in 2012 shows around 96 percent of orthopedic surgeons practice defensive medicine by ordering imaging, laboratory tests or hospital admissions mainly to avoid possible malpractice liability. Around 24 percent of all tests ordered were for defensive reasons, with the average cost of defensive medicine per surgeon respondent being around $100,000 per year annually.
The national cost of defensive medicine in orthopedic surgery was $2 billion annually. Some suggest tort reform would create huge savings.