“We have been studying the reach and impact of defensive medicine for five years and the conclusions are consistent,” said Richard L. Jackson, Chairman and CEO of Jackson Healthcare. “The data show defensive medicine is impacting healthcare costs and is a uniquely American problem.”

Published April 8, 2014, by Jackson Healthcare, of which Tyler & Company became part in 2013. For more information about the following survey results, click here.”

Hospital administrators estimate that one-third of healthcare costs are the result of tests and treatments that aren’t medically necessary and ordered to prevent lawsuits, according to a new survey by Atlanta-based Jackson Healthcare.

Ninety-four percent of survey participants affirmed that the practice of defensive medicine drove up healthcare costs in the United States. They also estimated an average of 57 percent of physicians practiced defensive medicine.

The survey is important as debate continues to swirl around defensive medicine’s true impact on U.S. healthcare costs. 

Survey participants were divided on how defensive medicine impacted the quality of patient care. Thirty-two percent believed it had a negative impact; 31 percent said it had a positive impact; and 30 percent said it had no impact.

When it came to hospitals’ financial performance, 65 percent of executives believed defensive medicine negatively impacted performance. Only 27 percent reported a positive impact.

A separate survey of physicians conducted by Gallup in 2010, found that one in four healthcare dollars could be attributed to defensive medicine. In addition, the same poll found that 73 percent of physicians agreed that they had practiced some form of defensive medicine in the past 12 months.