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Doctors detail high costs of fighting malpractice claims

U.S.News & World Report, April 5, 2012

For doctors defending medical malpractice claims, costs vary widely across specialties and can run into the tens of thousands, even when a patient did not receive a payout, new research shows. The upshot: Patients end up paying the price in the end, the researchers concluded in their letter published April 5 in the New England Journal of Medicine. "Higher defense costs and higher malpractice premiums are ultimately passed down to patients through higher physician fees," said co-author Dr. Anupam Jena, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, and a senior fellow at the Schaeffer Health Policy Center at the University of Southern California.