Dr. Ira Jacobson’s July 10 letter perpetuates the myth that defensive medicine plays a significant role in healthcare costs.
Recent studies published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Forbes Magazine and the British Medical Journal — certainly no friends of trial lawyers — quite conclusively establish that there is no meaningful correlation between what is called defensive medicine and healthcare costs. In fact, there has never been a single evidence-based study showing such a correlation.
If a physician orders laboratory studies or imaging studies that are not truly indicated for the benefit of the patient, then that is not “defensive medicine.” That is something else: fraudulent billing.
Kenneth J. Bush,