Sunday, April 16, 2006
I was pleased to see the Oklahoma Alliance of Physicians for Tort Reform post the actual questions and methodology used for its tort reform survey, especially since they do rely upon it in editorials and the like.
But I can't say I'm overwhelmed by the survey. The opening paragraphs tell the recipients on whose behalf the survey is being completed:
Physicians are frequently asked by the media and patients for accurate numbers that describe the effects of medical liability on our practices. The Oklahoma Alliance of Physicians for Tort Reform requests that you fill out this short questionnaire which we are distributing to Oklahoma physicians. The results will be collected, and if a sufficient number of responses can be obtained, it will be used to help inform legislators, media and the public.
And the questions suggest the hoped-for (or at least expected) answer rather enthusiastically ('Do you practice “defensive medicine”? [More testing, referring, or visits than necessary because of the threat of lawsuit.]")
It's certainly still of concern that 87% of doctors answered "yes" to the defensive medicine question. And the response rate isn't bad (775 out of 8.327). But it's still a pretty good distance from answering the questions definitively.