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Survey Says: Docs Fear Being Sued, Order More Tests

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The American College of Emergency Physicians conducted a survey and found a doctor’s fear of being sued is the main reason why they order the number of tests they do. One ER chief, who pays $75,000 a year per physician for malpractice insurance, says legal reform is desperately needed.

For those who say, ‘What is the harm in getting that CT scan, or extra blood test,’ Dr. Theodore Christopher, Professor and Chairman of the Department of Emergency Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital has an answer for you.

“If you order a CT scan or an MRI, which takes a really long time to get done, then patients spend a longer time in the emergency department,” Dr. Christopher said.

Dr. Christopher says it backs up the Department making the wait times longer and private physicians are steering more people to the ER for tests or a Consult with a specialist because they themselves do not want to be sued.

“I think we had less fear of liability, we would be more likely to discharge these patients, send them home, have them follow up with their private doctors and have their private doctors actually contribute to the decision making to actually get these tests.”

Reported by Michelle Durham, KYW Newsradio

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One Comment

  1. Average_Joe says:


    Actually you need to do your due deligence when speaking on subjects you have no idea about. The reason why DR’s are sued is because it’s a quick way for the poor/middle class society to get rich; off a doctor’s expense. Are they not allowed to make a mistake in a reading? They are human you know. Worst part is, people like you will say no they can’t make a mistake, but how many of you would dedicated your life to long hours of helping someone in sickness, pain, hurt? People in other countries don’t get the Hospital care that is given here in America, yet people abuse it. Go to Nigeria where you’ll have to wait for countless hours and pay for your own medical supplies, can you imagine that. I think we should start that actually, maybe if you had to pay for your own supplies and bring them to the Hospital with you, then you wouldn’t have “fine whiners”.

  2. jack says:

    the reason they have been sued so many times before is for not ordering tests and reading test results with accuracy, leading to negligent patient care. The only people that will suffer from extra tests are the fat cat insurance companies who have to pay for them with the money they make off of patients’ healthcare benefits. Boo hoo hoo

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