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JAMA Revisited
October 22/29, 2014

The Cost of Medical Care

JAMA. 2014;312(16):1699. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.279804

The interest of the public in the cost of medical care, apparently for many years dormant, seems now to be the topic of the hour. True, one may visit innumerable villages, cities and hamlets of the Middle West, the South, and even the New England states and find both the physicians and the general public little concerned in the current agitation; but in other communities it arouses burning argument and intense feeling. Much of this emotionalism is, of course, the result of propaganda and of personal issues which have little or nothing to do with the purely economic aspects of the question. Nevertheless, the work of the Committee on the Cost of Medical Care and the numerous investigations now being carried on under various auspices in new methods of medical practice make the situation one which the medical profession must consider. As has been said previously in these columns, regardless of the nature of medical practice in the future, physicians will have to do the practicing; and the success or failure of any experiment will depend on the extent to which physicians deliver what the public has been accustomed to expect from them in the way of prevention and cure of disease.

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