Rand Study Finds Doctors Continue to Order Unnecessary Tests

Forbes is reporting on a new study conducted by the RAND Corporation that finds doctors continue to order expensive and often unnecessary tests even after they’ve garnered what they consider necessary malpractice reform. “Physicians say they order unnecessary tests strictly out of fear of being sued, but our results suggest the story is more complicated,” said Dr. Daniel A. Waxman, a researcher at RAND who is the leader author of the study, “The Effect of Malpractice Reform on Emergency Department Care” published in a special article in the Oct. 16 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine. The study was funded by the Veterans Affairs Office of Academic Affiliations. The RAND researchers concluded that legislation intended to decrease doctors’ legal risks for medical malpractice has had little effect on such tests. However, such procedures continue to drive up health care costs with little improvement to the quality of healthcare.