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—We are pleased that our article proposing to pay physicians on the basis of time spent with patients provoked some thoughts. To address Dr Brodell's ideologic concerns, let it be known that we both own shares in the stock market. That makes us capitalists! In our free country, Brodell has the option to buy marked-up milk and improve his grocer's family situation. He can also buy cheaper milk elsewhere. If interested, he could find out what it costs to produce a bottle of milk and what the profit margins are in the distribution chain. It is not as easy for patients to find the best value in town for a diagnosis and treatment, let alone figure out why the price is what it is. And why should they? Usually a third party pays the bill. Therefore, free market theory does not apply well to health care, unlike most
Wachtel TJ, Stein MD. Physician Payment: Fee for Time-Reply. JAMA. 1994;271(6):425–426. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510300025016
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