By Dr. Hal Scherz
Dr. Jeff English the Docs4Patient Care, Georgia Chapter President and the Director of Clinical Research at the MS Center of Atlanta and I have seen looming problems with the implementation of ObamaCare. Like all practicing physicians we know that it is time to get serious about medical liability reform. Two years after the passage of the Affordable Care Act, it is now clear the law fails to control healthcare costs – the very reason advocates called for its passage. In fact, costs have accelerated faster under Obamacare than if Congress never took up health reform.
Part of the reason is that the ACA never addressed the two major drivers of healthcare spending – the disconnect between patients and the true cost of the care they which they receive; and medical liability.
A common strategy physicians employ to avoid malpractice suits is to practice defensive medicine, something that adds between $200 to $650 billion annually to the nation’s healthcare price tag. Defensive medicine occurs when doctors order unnecessary tests or procedures to avoid being sued.
This is a cancer on the healthcare system and unless it is aggressively managed, healthcare costs will never be contained.