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Commentary
March 22, 2004

The Costs of Denying Scarcity

Arch Intern Med. 2004;164(6):593-596. doi:10.1001/archinte.164.6.593

Scarcity is increasingly common in health care, yet many physicians may be reluctant to acknowledge the ways that limited health care resources influence their decisions. Reasons for this denial include that physicians are unaccustomed to thinking in terms of scarcity, uncomfortable with the role that limited resources play in poor outcomes, and hesitant to acknowledge the influence of financial incentives and restrictions on their practice. However, the denial of scarcity serves as a barrier to containing costs, alleviating avoidable scarcity, limiting the financial burden of health care on patients, and developing fair allocation systems.

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