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May 19, 1962


JAMA. 1962;180(7):547. doi:10.1001/jama.1962.03050200031011

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It is no secret that costs of medical care are increasing. It is also no secret that this increase is a subject of national debate. At this point, the debate is one which is causing tremendous sound and fury in the political arena, and as is true in most complex issues involved in political debate, the issue itself is in dire danger of becoming completely obscured by eloquent but befogging political oratory. It is, perhaps, too late to practice preventive medicine in this area and corrective surgery is probably not possible. What is possible, however, is that the providers of patient care— physicians and hospitals (administrators and trustees)—should become incisively introspective and ask, "What are we getting for the dollar we spend?"

In the long run, there is no single area of medical care costs where the potential dividends to be reaped from the dollar spent are so great as

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