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Health

Study: Doctors Order MRI, Imaging Tests To Avoid Lawsuits

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(credit: Jeff McIntosh/AP)

(credit: Jeff McIntosh/AP)

CBS Los Angeles (con't)

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SAN DIEGO (AP) — A new study finds that MRI scans and other imaging tests are often done more for the doctor’s benefit than a patient’s.

Researchers say that as many as one-fifth of tests that bone and joint doctors order are because the doctor fears being sued, not because the patient needs them. Unnecessary tests drive up costs and can expose people to radiation that over time can raise their risk of cancer.

The study involved 72 doctors in Pennsylvania who tracked tests ordered on nearly 3,000 patients. Results were discussed Wednesday at an orthopedics conference in San Diego.

(© Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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