Yes, you read the title right. It turns out that when researchers compared the spending of 25,000 Florida physicians in 2000–2009 to their malpractice claims, higher resource use was associated with lower rates of malpractice claims in the following year. This occurred in all specialties.
The authors concluded:
“Without evidence on rates of errors associated with greater resource use, we cannot definitively conclude that defensive medicine … reduces the number of malpractice claims. However, our findings still suggest that greater resource use is associated with fewer claims, which is consistent with physician beliefs that higher resource use, more generally, is associated with reduced liability of malpractice.”
Yes, they were afraid to straight out say it but the truth of the matter is that defensive medicine defends the doctors from lawsuits. Get some tort reform and this stops.