'As reported by USNews, malpractice costs account for 2.4 percent of US healthcare costs. It looks like 80% of the 2.4% is in "defensive medicine". That's a far cry from half.'
That may be true about actual payouts, but that doesn't factor in the cost of malpractice insurance. Imagine if 2.4% of the gross of your business went to lawsuit payouts, and then imagine the insurance and other costs that come with it. Some of the costs that need to be added are the actual time MD's and other spend filling out paperwork. I know an orthopedic specialist who spends 1-2 days per week dealing with insurance paperwork. It may not be half, but it's a high percentage we all chip in for.
It's kinda like a neighborhood where the residents say they don't suffer many burglaries, but they have iron bars on all the ground-level windows, alarm systems, and walk to and from their front doors in a hurry. They actually pay thousands of dollars each because of burglary in the form of preventive measures, and if you price their lack of peace of mind it's worse.
Whole regions of the U.S. are losing certain specialists because of malpractice. While the actual payouts are not a big slice of the pie, the collateral damage is enormous.
In terms of blame, it is a bit rich that the o.p. says he doesn't plan on suing, but titled this thread "medical malpractice knowledge." That's a huge glaring red flag.
To put it in skiing terms, there are lots of people whose acl rehab wasn't as good as it could have been because of defensive medicine, because of assholes who want to play the blame game. We now know that in most cases, the faster you get someone up and moving after acl surgery, the better, but acceptance of this was a lot slower than it could have been. That's a lot of real people who could have better outcomes but basically had lawyers standing in the way.
In terms of blame, how about someone not reading up on their injury beforehand, not discussing with their doc and PT what the rehab protocol BEFORE going in, and then afterwards asking for medical malpractice advice from a bunch of people on the internet who have no knowledge at all of his specific shoulder, doc or actual course of treatment?