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April 1, 1998

Defending Health Care: For Patients, Not Profits

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(13):991-992. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-13-jbk0401

To the Editor.—The call to action1 clearly demonstrates how dissatisfied health care professionals have become with for-profit hospital chains and health maintenance organizations (HMOs). What is interesting is that investors in those entities are becoming almost as dissatisfied as physicians, nurses, and patients. Executives of HMOs and hospital chains have claimed they can provide patients with excellent care, physicians with a good income and an attractive working environment, employers with low health care premiums, regulators with an assurance that the rules are being followed, and investors with a high rate of return. These claims may have proven to be both contradictory and overly optimistic. Once again, when something appears to be too good to be true, you had better watch your wallet.

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