Study Shows Association between Malpractice Fears and Test Ordering

Both patients and doctors have serious concerns about medical malpractice, but it’s possible that the existing medical malpractice system causes physicians to order unnecessary tests. In the long run, these unneeded tests are not good for the patient, either, which is why a new study decided to tackle the issue of whether there was a connection between a doctor’s malpractice fear and his or her likelihood to order tests. Medical malpractice involves cases of medical negligence such as failure to diagnose, delayed diagnosis, improper treatment, surgical errors, unnecessary surgery, medication errors, or misdiagnosis.

The study, led by researcher Emily Carrier, explored physician responses to a 2008 survey about malpractice concerns to the test ordering behavior of those same doctors. The project utilized Medicare claims data to measure test ordering behavior. The study found an association between high fears about medical malpractice and ordering of tests. For physicians who were least concerned about medical malpractice suits, fewer than 18% ordered x-ray tests for those patients. For physicians categorized as most concerned about medical malpractice, tests were ordered for nearly 30% of patients. Similar test ordering patterns were identified when patients presented with headaches, as those doctors most concerned about malpractice ordered CT scans or MRIs at double the rate of less-concerned colleagues.

The study did not find a connection between patient comments about chest pain and the types of tests ordered in that realm. Ultimately, although tests can be helpful in providing doctors with details about what to rule out and what to consider as a possible diagnosis, ordering tests out of fear can be time-consuming and expensive for patients. Failing to properly diagnose may even lead to serious medical conditions or problems down the road. If you or someone you know has been a victim of medical malpractice, you need to rely on the insight of an experienced Illinois medical malpractice attorney.

Recent Blog Posts



Free Initial Consultations

phone 630-920-8855
address15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521
phone 331-588-6611
address21 North 4th Street, Geneva, IL 60134
Our firm handles family law and personal injury matters for clients in Chicago and throughout the western suburbs including DuPage County, Will County, Kane County, Cook County and the cities of Aurora, Bloomingdale, Bolingbrook, Burr Ridge, Carol Stream, Darien, Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Hinsdale, Joliet, Kendall County, Lombard, Naperville, Oak Park, Oak Brook, Oakbrook Terrace, Clarendon Hills, Oswego, Park Ridge, Roselle, St. Charles, Geneva, Villa Park, Warrenville, Wheaton, Western Springs, LaGrange, Winfield, Woodridge and Yorkville.

© 2020 Law Office of Martoccio & Martoccio 15 North Lincoln Street, Hinsdale, IL 60521 630-920-8855

OVC Lawyer Marketing

Share Your Experience


Notice: Undefined variable: body_class in /home/ocvsgclo/public_html/ on line 362