[Skip to Content]
[Skip to Content Landing]
September 2, 1974

The Cost of Clinical Laboratory Testing

JAMA. 1974;229(10):1350-1351. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230480066038

THE patient visiting your office is concerned not only with the problem of his illness but also with what this illness is going to cost him. Once he has entered your office, he has already eliminated the problem of quality in his own mind. Clinical laboratory tests, however, in many instances are not performed by the examining physician. Therefore, the physician should discuss three important aspects of the clinical laboratory tests with the patient: quality, service, and economy.

Quality  In this area, it should be pointed out to the patient which laboratory tests are being performed in the doctor's office for which the physician assumes full responsibility. When the laboratory tests are referred to an outside laboratory, some discussion of that laboratory may be in order.At the present time, there are more than 7,500 outpatient clinical laboratories in the United States. Numerous states have laws governing their operation and