[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
Other Articles
November 4, 1950


Author Affiliations

Washington, D. C.

Executive director and secretary, Medical Society of the District of Columbia (Mr. Wiprud), and biostatistician, Division of Public Health Methods, United States Public Health Service (Mr. Altman).

JAMA. 1950;144(10):835-839. doi:10.1001/jama.1950.62920100001007

The problem of how best to meet the rising costs of medical care has become one of the most controversial subjects of the day. As a corollary has come an increasing interest in voluntary insurance plans and the extent to which such plans help to meet the costs of illness. Rational answers to questions on medical care require factual data, of which not a great deal is available. Hence, the present study was proposed and sponsored by the Medical Society of the District of Columbia in the hope of providing some useful information. The Medico-Chirurgical Society of the District of Columbia and hospitals of the area cooperated wholeheartedly.

Apart from those kinds of chronic illness which require continuing medical attention, the type of illness most likely to prove burdensome is that involving a period of hospitalization. It was believed that a contribution could be made by a study which limited