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Surgeons May Order Unnecessary Tests and Scans to Protect Themselves if Sued Later on


A recent study of orthopedic surgeons suggests that many order unnecessary MRI’s, bone scans, x-rays and other tests to protect themselves in the event of a lawsuit. The study, which was conducted on a volunteer basis, compiled anonymous responses from members of the Pennsylvania Orthopaedic Society. A New York Injury Lawyer states that these responses demonstrate an overwhelming number of surgeons order tests on patients that are not essential to their care. These tests are expensive and increase the cost of health care for patients and health care centers each year.

The study claims that surgeons with at least 15 years of experience or those who have been sued in the past five years are most likely to order unnecessary tests. If sued, surgeons can better defend themselves by producing these test results, especially if sued for medical malpractice This is the first study published that relied mostly on responses submitted anonymously. Other studies have compiled outside data such as percentage of lawsuits, number of tests ordered per year and the concentration of surgeons in one area.

This information is valuable not only to surgeons and hospitals, but also to insurance companies and patients. Before agreeing to a test, patients may need to be more diligent in asking their physician why the test is necessary in the first place, a Nassau County Personal Injury Lawyer advises. As healthcare costs continue to rise, many insurance companies may be reluctant to pay for certain tests. This cost may fall on the patient’s shoulders instead.

It is unclear if further studies relying on anonymous replies from surgeons in other medical societies will be conducted. While it is worth investigating how many surgeons use these tests to defend themselves from lawsuits, many still use these tests to help treat patients. Questioning why tests are conducted may limit patient care. And while some cite the rising costs of malpractice lawsuits as the reason for the rise in healthcare costs, others agree the quality care comes at a price. Further studies may need to be conducted to determine if surgeons from different regions order unnecessary tests and if this varies from region to region.

If you have been a victim of medical malpractice, or have been injured in an accident, it is important to speak with legal counsel promptly. You may be entitled to compensation for your injuries, including reimbursement for medical expenses, loss of income, as well as pain and suffering. It is important to not delay, because there are strict time deadlines for filing certain types of claims. If these deadlines are missed, you will permanently lose your right to file your case.

Contact Stephen Bilkis and Associates if you’ve been injured on the job or because of another’s negligence. We have offices throughout New York, including locations in Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens, and Staten Island. We also have locations in Westchester County, and Nassau County and Suffolk County on Long Island. Call us today for a free consultation at 1-800-NY-NY-LAW.

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