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June 1, 1994


Author Affiliations

Yale University School of Medicine and Yale—New Haven Hospital, New Haven, Conn

JAMA. 1994;271(21):1655-1656. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510450027014

Health care system reform calls for providing patients with cost-effective care in settings as diverse as the ambulatory surgical unit or the intensive care unit. Senator John D. Rockefeller IV1 applauds the efforts of Johnstone and Martinec2 as groundbreaking work that allows us to understand the true costs of anesthesia services. By organizing and defining the components and determinants of anesthesia costs, these investigators from West Virginia University, Morgantown, draw attention to the fact that anesthesia providers control at least 3% to 5% of total annual health care costs in the United States—$9 billion for provider services and $11.7 billion for preoperative testing.

The Committee on Professional Liability of the American Society of Anesthesiologists has undertaken an initiative to reduce health care costs related to professional liability.3 Their comparison of pediatric and adult anesthesia closed malpractice cases shows substantial differences. Mishaps with inadequate ventilation occurred more frequently

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