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June 11, 1982

Cost of Containment

JAMA. 1982;247(22):3080. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320470028015

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To the Editor.—  I was recently involved in a rather eye-opening example of how cost can escalate to an extreme. I treated a patient at my office who had three discrete plantar warts on his left foot. I outlined what my procedure would be to remove them, and the patient asked what the cost would be. I also gave the various alternatives that were available to him. He stated quite emphatically that his insurance company would pay only if he were hospitalized for this procedure. I estimated what the cost would be if he were hospitalized on a day-surgical basis for removal of three plantar warts, and even I was surprised at the estimated cost. The day-surgery operating room, recovery room, drugs, anesthetics, agents, and dressing would amount to between $350 to $380. This procedure would be done with a local anesthetic and did not include any services of an