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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/22616

Title: The determinants of defensive medicine practices in Belgium
Authors: Vandersteegen, Tom
Marneffe, Wim
Cleemput, Irina
Vandijck, Dominique
Vereeck, Lode
Issue Date: 2017
Citation: Health Economics Policy and Law, 12 (3), p. 363-386
Abstract: In 2010 the Belgian government introduced a low cost administrative procedure for compensating medical injuries to overcome the major shortcomings of the existing tort system. This paper examines, for the first time, to what extent this reform had an impact on physician specialists’ defensive practices and what are the relevant determinants affecting physicians’ clinical decision making. Based on a survey of 508 physicians, we find evidence of a relatively modest increase in defensive practices among physicians in various specialties. In general, 14% of the respondents, who were aware of the reform, reported to have increased their overall defensive behaviour, while respectively 18 and 13% altered their assurance and avoidance behaviour. Commonly used physician characteristics, such as claims experience and gender, have a similar impact on defensive medicine as documented in existing literature. Furthermore, the determinant physician’s access to an incident reporting system is found to have a significant impact on most of the defensive medicine measures. Health care institutions may therefore play an important role in controlling and reducing physicians’ defensive practices.
Notes: Vandersteegen, T (reprint author), Hasselt Univ, Fac Appl Econ, Martelarenlaan 42, BE-3500 Hasselt, Belgium. tom.vandersteegen@uhasselt.be
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1942/22616
DOI: 10.1017/S174413311600030X
ISI #: 000402839000005
ISSN: 1744-1331
Category: A1
Type: Journal Contribution
Appears in Collections: Research publications

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