Author Affiliation: The Geisel School of Medicine and The Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy and Clinical Practice, Lebanon, New Hampshire.
In the article “Health care as a ‘market good’?” Hsia et al1 found substantial variation in total hospital charges among 19 368 appendectomy patients in California. The article engendered angst and claims of evidence of market failure. But before impugning the market mechanism, it is important to understand 2 market realities found in capitalist systems, whether customers buy health services or an apple at the store.
Weeks WB. Of Appendectomies, Markets, and Fictional Charges. Arch Intern Med. 2012;172(19):1524-1525. doi:10.1001/archinternmed.2012.4412