Maine Practice Guidelines

HEHS-95-118R: Published: Apr 4, 1995. Publicly Released: Apr 4, 1995.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO reviewed the Maine Medical Liability Demonstration Project, focusing on whether physician practice guidelines have had an effect on defensive medicine in Maine. GAO noted that: (1) it lacked sufficient data to determine the effect of the guidelines on defensive medical practices in Maine; (2) to provide the data, the major insurer in Maine needs to consolidate information from six incompatible claim systems; (3) systems conversions have made some claims histories inaccessible, since physicians inconsistently record diagnostic and procedure codes; and (4) it is difficult to isolate factors that might affect the number of tests and procedures performed.

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