For most people, the hospital is the safest place but many are not aware of potential dangers that are happening inside the edifice. Twenty-four percent of annual health-care spending which amounts to $55.6 billion amounts is the cost of medical malpractice in the United States. In addition, studies showed that the estimate which includes $45.6 billion in what is known as defensive medicine costs — when doctors prescribe unnecessary tests or treatments to avoid lawsuit.

Health-care system inefficiencies are due to defensive medicine, failure to prevent medical errors and avoidable patient injuries, according to researchers at Harvard University and Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston.

The result of the study was published in the September issue of Health Affairs that examines medical malpractice and ideas for improving patient safety and controlling costs. The total actual amount of medical liability in the United States has not been clarified. However the authors of the study claimed that their analysis is the most comprehensive, reliable estimate to date.

Study author, Michelle Mello, professor of law and public health at the Harvard School of Public Health, said that they cannot debate on the potential for medical liability reform to reduce health-care costs in any way without providing realistic cost estimates, She said in a journal news release that a good number bandied about in policy discussion were quite imaginative and they could not get a reliable estimate.

In conducting the study, Mello and her colleagues analyzed several areas of the medical liability system which included payments made to malpractice plaintiffs, defensive medicine costs, lawyer fees and other administrative costs, along with the costs of lost clinician work time.

Physician and insurer groups involved in the discussion like to end all conversations about cost growth in health care to malpractice reform, while their opponents trivialized the role of defensive medicine. This was contained in the study of co-author Amitabh Chandra, a professor of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government..

Chandra believed that their study demonstrated that both simplifications from both sides were wrong – that the amount of defensive medicine is not trivial, but can even be a great source of significant savings.

If you were injured as a result of someone’s negligence please contact an experienced Injury Lawyer to discuss options that both you and your loved ones may have to be compensated.

If you or a loved has suffered due to negligence you may wish to consult with experienced Philadelphia Injury Lawyers. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries. Please note strict deadline apply and it is in your best interest to contact a Pennsylvania attorney immediately.

Link – http://health.usnews.com/health-news/managing-your-healthcare/healthcare/articles/2010/09/07/cost-of-medical-malpractice-tops-55-billion-a-year-in-us

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