The excuse that health providers are forced to use excessive diagnostics to thwart malpractice suits has grown tiresome. In my day you bought expensive radiology equipment knowing it would pay for itself in years and maximize your profit thereafter. Soon a full series of x-rays were the answer to solving every problem presented when patients had insurance coverage but spot shots would suffice when they didn’t. This wasn’t a different standard of care for the patient but an abuse of the insurance company. This was not something I personally participated in BTW and was often told how much it was costing me or putting me in legal jeopardy while no one claimed it was costing my patients quality of care.
Now I’m retired and recently found myself shopping for a new provider because my previous one retired and referred me to someone in a co-op who was insisting I follow up on all referrals for opinions from specialists within their system of care providers.
It’s one of the drivers of health costs and one that would be better managed by having a centralized insurer because under the present system insurance companies are competing for customers and unable to invest the time and administration cost necessary to police for profit health care. Instead they trust the beneficiary to control costs but when emergencies arise choices are limited and when general care is the issue it’s not so easy to shop around to find a doctor capable of putting your care before the demands of an administrative review.
And don’t even get me started with demanding an itemized list of billings from a hospital…