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November 19, 2008

Health Care Overutilization in the United States

JAMA. 2008;300(19):2250-2251. doi:10.1001/jama.2008.603

To the Editor: The Commentary by Drs Emanuel and Fuchs1 listed 7 factors working synergistically to cause overutilization of the health care system in the United States. I believe that a crucial aspect behind many of these factors is the loss of quality in the patient-physician relationship. When the authors stated that “US patients prefer high technology over high touch,” this raised a question of why US patients would behave differently from their counterparts in other countries.