Originally published in Forbes on November There is nothing more time consuming and expensive for a patient than undergoing extra tests or procedures during a trip to the emergency room, doctor’s office or urgent care center.
Often a physician will know exactly what a patient’s diagnosis is but will order an x-ray, CT scan, blood work or MRI to reaffirm his clinical judgment. The common rationale is to back up his opinion in case there is a lawsuit.
According to Gallup, one in four healthcare dollars can be attributed to the cost of defensive medicine—tests or procedures that are not clinically necessary. The independent healthcare economics firm BioScience Valuation says the annual cost of defensive medicine exceeds $480 billion annually.