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October 6, 2010

What If Physicians Actually Had to Control Medical Costs?

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliation: RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, California.

JAMA. 2010;304(13):1489-1490. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1426

What if, at the beginning of a year, a physician were to face the following situation? A physician has been told that enough money is available to treat 100 patients who have either condition A or condition B and treating each patient costs US $1000. Based on epidemiological data, the physician is expected to have 100 patients with condition A and 100 patients with condition B during the calendar year. The health benefit of treating patients with condition A is 4 times as great as the health benefit of treating patients with condition B. There is only $100 000 available, which is only enough money to treat half of the 200 patients.

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