Healthcare News & Insights

Study: Defensive medicine costs less than thought

There’s no denying that physicians practicing defensive medicine add to overall health costs. The question is: How much?

According to a recent report in Health Affairs, the total cost of medical malpractice-related expenses — including defensive medicine — is about 2.4% of annual health spending. Of that amount, 80% is made up of defensive medicine.

That’s not insignificant, but it’s far less than some of the claims made during the debate over health care. Some politicians and activist groups claimed defensive medicine made up as much as a quarter of all health care spending.

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