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What new study reveals about pediatric care

On behalf of Kammholz Law PLLC posted in Medical Malpractice on Wednesday, December 18, 2013.

The practice of medicine is fairly standardized: there are a limited number of tests, procedures and medications that can be used when dealing with specific medical conditions. Although there are the occasional discoveries that come from a new technique or using a medicine for something other than its intended use, but they are rare. More often, if a child goes to a Rochester hospital with signs of a head injury, for example, the diagnosis and care is relatively clear. A new study, however, finds that many pediatricians choose to treat children based on their preference, not on the actual medical needs of the patient. Although the study was not performed in upstate New York, nor is there any definitive proof of medical negligence, the findings might indicate a serious problem in pediatric care. If doctors are only performing the tests and procedures that they want to perform, not those that the patient actually needs, it calls into question what is being missed. Are doctors not diagnosing serious conditions because they can't be bothered to perform a diagnostic test? Are doctors not properly treating children because they would rather not use the correct procedure to do so? On the other hand, it may be that doctors are performing unnecessary tests and treatments, raising a patient's hospital bill. The researchers looked at the number of visits to emergency rooms, instances of tonsillectomies and CT scans. Within a relatively small geographic region, there was a large variation in care, indicating doctor preference, not medical need. We can only hope that this kind of practice is not rampant among upstate New York pediatricians. Source: Modern Healthcare, "Pediatric care varies due to doc preference, not patient need, Dartmouth report says," Andis Robeznieks, Dec. 11, 2013

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