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Doctors’ Poll: $14 Billion a Year Spent on Unnecessary Medical Care in Georgia

"We've got to get healthcare costs under control before they eat up families' entire budgets."

Richard Jackson

ATLANTA (Jan. 17, 2012) - More than one in four dollars spent on medical care in Georgia is for unnecessary tests and procedures and cost consumers an estimated $14 billion a year, according to a new poll of Georgia physicians released Tuesday by Patients for Fair Compensation.

The poll showed that 82 percent of doctors practice "defensive medicine" and order unnecessary tests such as biopsies, x-rays, blood tests, CT scans and other procedures to keep from being sued.

The $14 billion in defensive medicine costs are passed along to consumers and result in higher healthcare and insurance costs.

Patients for Fair Compensation is advocating a replacement of the medical tort system for one that is similar to the workers' compensation system, said Richard L. Jackson, chairman of Patients for Fair Compensation.

"We've got to get healthcare costs under control before they eat up families' entire budgets," Jackson said. "And healthcare is one factor that is keeping companies from hiring too. Eliminating defensive medicine would be a significant first step."

Oppenheim Research of Tallahassee, Fla. polled licensed Georgia physicians and found that 95 percent of doctors would support a Patients Compensation System over the current medical tort system.

Oppenheim Research polled 330 licensed Georgia physicians between Dec. 22, 2011 and Jan. 11, 2012. The poll has an error rate of plus or minus 5.5 percent.

Patients for Fair Compensation was founded to educate and propose policy solutions that eliminate the incentives to practice defensive medicine. By replacing the current medical liability system with one legally modeled after the workers' compensation system, the interests of patients, doctors and taxpayers can be aligned to stop the practice of defensive medicine, optimize quality healthcare and ensure real access to justice.

To download a PDF summary of the poll by Oppenheim Research click here.

CONTACT: Susan L. Meyers at (404) 518-2271 or slmeyers@comcast.net