Fear of lawsuits spurs more costly care, survey, experts find

Share this article:
Jury hands down $3.3 million verdict against CO nursing home in negligence case
Jury hands down $3.3 million verdict against CO nursing home in negligence case
One of the major factors for rising healthcare costs is that providers are, by their own admission, offering their patients too much care, according to a recent survey.

Forty-two percent of primary care physicians who responded to a nationwide survey — published Tuesday in the Archives of Internal Medicine — responded that they make more referrals to specialists and order more tests than they would like to, “ideally,” according to the survey. The majority —  76% —  said they do this out of fear of malpractice lawsuits.

That fear of litigation also is an issue for skilled nursing facilities, according to R. Tamara Konetzka, Ph.D., a researcher at the University of Chicago. In an Avalere Health-sponsored audio conference Tuesday, which discussed Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement alignment, Konetzka said she has seen similar concerns arise in interviews with long-term care directors of nursing and physicians. She said fear of lawsuits often spur SNFs to transfer residents to hospitals too frequently.

“The litigation issue overwhelms everything — which residents they're willing to admit, which issues they're choosing to deal with. [While] I suspect that it's different from state to state, it's an issue that needs to be addressed,” she added.
Share this article:

More in News

Antipsychotics reduction goal is 25% by end of 2015, CMS and provider groups announce

Antipsychotics reduction goal is 25% by end of ...

Long-term care providers are being asked to reduce the use of antipsychotic medications among residents by 25% by the end of 2015, and 30% by the end of 2016. Providers ...

CDC issues new guidelines on pneumococcal vaccine, says LTC flu vaccination rates remain low

CDC issues new guidelines on pneumococcal vaccine, says ...

Long-term care workers continued to have low rates of flu vaccination last season, despite there being 92% vaccination coverage overall among physicians and nurses, the Centers for Disease Control and ...

AL operators accused of withholding $2M in unpaid overtime, minimum wages ...

Four California assisted living operators are facing eight felony charges related to wage theft, tax and insurance violations, according to local reports.