ATLANTA, GA (May 19, 2010) - According to a new national
survey on defensive medicine by Jackson Healthcare, the
threat of a lawsuit causes many physicians to delay the adoption of
medical innovations. More than half (53%) of survey
respondents reported they had delayed adopting medical innovations
such as new pharmaceuticals, procedures and medical devices due to
fear of litigation.
According to the survey, surgery subspecialists (66%) and
OB/GYNs (63%) are most likely to delay the adoption of medical
innovations, while pediatricians (27%) are least likely.
"I practice defensive medicine by avoiding the practice of those
procedures which might benefit my patients, but are considered too
risky by my malpractice insurer and would increase my premiums to a
degree that is prohibitive," wrote one physician, who cited joint
injections as an example.
Another physician wrote, "...anything 'new' exposes you to the
accusation that you are 'learning' on this patient…"
"Delayed adoption of new medical advancements is another serious
consequence of our culture of litigation, which is unique to the
U.S.," said Richard Jackson, chairman and chief executive officer
of Jackson Healthcare. "As long as our physicians remain personally
financially liable for mistakes, we will continue to feel the
impacts of defensive medicine."
Jackson said the adverse impacts of defensive medicine include
unnecessary costs, limited access for certain patients, over- and
under-treatment of life threatening illnesses and delayed adoption
of medical advancements.
A summary of the new survey findings along with proposed methods
for addressing malpractice reform and the defensive medicine
problem can be found in Jackson Healthcare's online
For more information contactBob Schlotmanat770-643-5697at
In March 2010, Jackson Healthcare conducted a web-based survey
of 1,407 physicians. Jackson had a response rate of 1.13 percent
from the 124,572 invitations distributed. The survey has an
error range of +/- 1.7 percent, at the 95 percent confidence