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October 3, 1977

Multiphasic Health Testing

JAMA. 1977;238(14):1497. doi:10.1001/jama.1977.03280150067015

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To the Editor.—  David J. Lehman's COMMENTARY (237:2193, 1977) is a nicely balanced discussion of multiphasic health testing. He missed an important point; it is one all too often missed by other than clinical laboratory personnel. The cost of mass screening procedures, when compared to that of individual laboratory procedures performed on demand, make the conventional clinical laboratory look very costly. I suggest that the comparison is about as fair as comparing the price of a suit of clothes "off the rack" to that made-to-measure by one of our top flight tailors. I strongly suspect that close accounting would show that the "low cost" mass screening prices are far too high when compared to clinical laboratory charges. Unless a clinical laboratory is prepared to perform individual tests on demand on a 24-hour basis, I refuse to have the charges levied by my laboratory judged on the basis of these ostensibly