defensive medicine


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de·fen·sive med·i·cine

diagnostic or therapeutic measures conducted primarily as a safeguard against possible subsequent malpractice liability.
A style of patient management consisting of objective measures taken to document clinical judgement to anticipate the possibility of a future lawsuit.

defensive medicine

A style of Pt management defined as those '…objective measures taken to document clinical judgement in case there is a lawsuit–costing ± $7 billion/yr US…'; DM is designed to minimize lawsuits and includes such 'devices' as
Defensive medicine
Informed consent A document to indicate Ps understanding of the intended outcome and potential risks of a procedure
Documentation Formal paperwork generated by a physician that justifies his reasoning for managing a Pt, which may be viewed as being'unreasonably excessive'
Medical workup Over-ordering of diagnostic tests to rule out 'zebras'–unusual diseases that are not seriously considered as diagnoses, which may rarely be seen in similar circumstances–a form of highly prevalent CYA–cover your ass mentality.
DM is virtually a standard of practice in the US; its financial impact is difficult to quantify, and is to ± ↑ the cost of US health care by 20-40% Note: The disadvantage of providing a list of potential complications–each of which may be extremely rare may overwhelm the Pt, causing him to forego a needed procedure, resulting in 'misinformed consent' This highly colloquial and vulgar abbreviation is commonly used at all levels of medical practice and training, and has appeared in at least one major medical journal; 'CYA', ie diagnostic 'overkill', has a mystical overtone, as the physician may be advised to 'CYA' to ward off the evil humors of litigation; DM is practiced by ± 84% of US physicians, in order to protect themselves from potential malpractice-related lawsuits AMN 25/5/92 p3 in the US, anything less than a perfect outcome is unacceptable to a consumer, for whom the threshold for litigation appears to ↓ as medical technology ↑, despite the known risks for certain procedures 

de·fen·sive med·i·cine

(dĕ-fen'siv med'i-sin)
Diagnostic or therapeutic measures conducted primarily as a safeguard against possible subsequent malpractice liability.

defensive medicine

Medical practice in which actions, or the avoidance of actions, are importantly determined by fear of litigation. The term is relative and ranges from a decision to perform a few more tests than might strictly be necessary to a form of practice in which the first concern of the doctor is to provide his or her patients with no possible grounds for legal action. Defensive medicine is damaging both to doctors and to patients and is only partly due to the actions of ambulance-chasing lawyers who actively encourage law suites against doctors. It is also a product of public perception of the actions of a minority of practitioners for whom financial reward is the primary motive.

de·fen·sive med·i·cine

(dĕ-fen'siv med'i-sin)
Diagnostic or therapeutic measures conducted primarily as a safeguard against possible subsequent malpractice liability.
References in periodicals archive ?
Incidence and costs of defensive medicine among orthopedic surgeons in the United States: A national survey study.
Above all, there is no acceptable method for measuring the extent and use of defensive medicine, and survey reports are likely to be misleading because of bias and the lack of controls and baseline data.
Another area of contention is whether some of our soaring health care costs may reflect defensive medicine at play.
117) However, as defensive medicine already impedes most physicians' ability to practice medicine autonomously, safe harbor laws may provide clearer standards by which to practice medicine and evaluate medical malpractice.
Using the average national Medicare payment information from the 2011 Current Procedural-Terminology (CPT) code reimbursement data, the cost of defensive medicine per orthopedic surgeon respondent was approximately $8,500 per month or $100,000 per year, representing 24 percent of a physician's annual spending.
He also claimed that the reforms had reduced defensive medicine expenditures, noting that "defensive medicine increases annual medical costs by 10 percent.
A Defensive medicine refers to tests, procedures, and referals that are ordered by physicians for the sole purpose of reducing the chance of a lawsuit, or to make a lawsuit more "defensible.
This case is a great example of why we practice defensive medicine and what's wrong with our tort system.
He deplored the advent of the physician-entrepreneur and the billions wasted by defensive medicine.
Including the cost of nonproductive defensive medicine practiced to prevent malpractice wranglings, the Congressional Budget Office estimates that current tort law practices account for 10% of all U.