According to researchers, every year about $210 billion is wasted on medical tests, procedures and treatments that are unnecessary. This is illustrated by the fact that 97 percent of doctors surveyed in a recent study said that they had ordered advanced medical scans, such as MRI and CT scans, that were not required. The reason given was that many of them were afraid of missing an unlikely illness and were concerned about being sued for this failing.
The study, which was published in the Academic Emergency Medicine peer-reviewed journal, involved asking questions of 435 emergency room physicians. Along with stating that they themselves had ordered unneeded tests, 85 percent also said they believed other members of the staff had done the same.
Outside of excessive costs, requesting tests that are not required may lead to trouble for patients. If a test returns a false positive, indicating a patient has a condition that in fact is not present, victims may end up being harmed by treatment that they do not need. Additionally, there are some conditions that do not present symptoms, and treating them may lower a person’s quality of life far more than doing nothing, but doctors often feel obligated to prescribe treatment anyway.
Negligent acts by health care practitioners can lead to a variety of problems for their patients, and doctor error is often the cause of incorrect or delayed diagnoses and mistakes made during surgeries. These can result in the worsening of medical conditions in affected victims, leading to long-term disabilities that can severely affect their quality of life. A medical malpractice attorney can assist in determining the remedies that may be available.