February 1974

Controlling the Cost of Hospital Care

Author Affiliations

Beth Israel Hospital Boston 02215

Arch Surg. 1974;108(2):141. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1974.01350260005001

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The first step in problem solving is to recognize that a problem exists. The public and the profession have become alert to the fact that hospital costs are high and going higher. Unfortunately, the restrictions imposed by the federal government limiting increases in hospital expenditures fail to take into account changes made necessary by the accelerating rate of patient turnover and by the complexity of the efforts to diagnose and treat disease. This policy limits the ability of the hospital to pay for additional skilled staff in the operating rooms, intensive care units, and other patient areas that play an essential part in efforts to increase the volume and level of care given to the more seriously ill patients. Further, the impact of this policy is of vital concern to institutions that would like to support new programs so that more patients can be accommodated in the same size physical

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