In Reply: We agree with Dr Hubbard that the public would benefit from such education. In the table of our Commentary, we noted that health care institutions and political leaders have an obligation to facilitate health care interventions enabling equitable, efficient, or greater distribution of resources. Educating the public regarding effects of medical care on resource use could be one such intervention. The complex US medical system can lead to a deceptive belief that costly medical services are inexpensive or that “someone else” is paying.1 A health system in which patients understand limitations on short-term resources could contribute to more equitable and efficient care if this optimizes appropriate use of medical services.
Wharam JF, Sulmasy D. Resource Use, Patient Education, and Improving the Quality of Health Care—Reply. JAMA. 2009;301(19):1990. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.656