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October 6, 1978

Cost of Medical Care

Author Affiliations

University of California, Los Angeles Family Practice Center Los Angeles

JAMA. 1978;240(15):1587. doi:10.1001/jama.1978.03290150033011

To the Editor.—  Dr Markle's thoughts (239:1629, 1978) on cost awareness reiterate those of a slightly more formal survey recently published.1 It is not that physicians in the private sector forget incurred costs with the pressure of day-to-day patient care. The fact that residents in training performed equally poorly reflects the lack of fiscal responsibility inherent in the educational process.Third-party sources are presently attempting to engage public awareness. Yearly physician Medicare collections have been published by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare, and Blue Cross patients receive an itemized account of all reimbursements on their behalf. A more productive approach is directed cost-awareness training during the formative educational experiences of those soon to wield the technological imperative. The recent explosion of funding for cost-containment teaching programs has been noted (Am Med News 21:22-23, April 21, 1978).At my clinic we have made an overt attempt to recognize