(PHILADELPHIA) - A new study suggests that if your doctor orders you to take an MRI or X-ray, they may simply be protecting themselves from being sued, reports WebMD.
A new survey by the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia found that among Pennsylvania orthopaedists, one in five order such imaging tests to avoid a potential lawsuit, not to help in a diagnosis.
According to researcher John Flynn, associate chief of orthopaedic surgery at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, the study offers "a glimpse behind the curtain of what's happening in your doctor's mind."
Flynn and colleagues found that the so-called "defensive tests" made up 35 percent of total test costs, or as much as $325,000 among the 640 orthopaedists surveyed.
Flynn said the spending is wasteful and contributes to the estimated one-third of national health care spending considered unnecessary.
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