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The subject of hospital costs—i. e., cost of caring for patients—is such an involved one that, in discussing it, we must define sharply the types of hospitals under consideration. Costs in a private hospital with a large ward and private service, adequate facilities for the training of nurses, and large laboratories cannot be considered in the same light as the figures for a small hospital with few ward beds, and mostly small private rooms and private wards.
Although one might imagine that it should be an easy task to compare financial statements of various hospitals and from them obtain an estimate based on actual costs as to what a reasonable per diem charge should be, such is far from the case. Any one even casually examining a number of annual reports of hospitals will be struck with the fact that there is little, if any, basis of comparison. Apparently each
SMITH H. HOSPITAL COSTS, PAST AND PRESENT. JAMA. 1924;82(2):110–112. doi:10.1001/jama.1924.26520280004012
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