Corporate Compliance

Radiologists’ mammography malpractice risk less than most physicians actually expect

Mammography Regulation and Reimbursement Report, April 1, 2009

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Although researchers say the No. 1 cause of medical malpractice suits in the United states is failure to detect breast cancer, the study, published in the February American Journal of Roentgenology, shows that radiologists greatly overestimate their likelihood of facing a lawsuit. The average radiologist surveyed thought his or her risk was four times higher than the actual malpractice rate, according to the study. Those unfounded fears may steer some radiologists away from breast imaging or cause others to adjust their practices due to litigation fears, says Joann G. Elmore, MD, one of the study’s authors.

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