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June 11, 1982

Cost of Containment-Reply

JAMA. 1982;247(22):3080-3081. doi:10.1001/jama.1982.03320470028016

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In Reply.—  To the Blue Cross and Blue Shield organization, cost containment is a reality and has been for many years. Historically, Blue Cross and Blue Shield plans have been concerned with the issue of health care costs, and one focus has been manifested in moves to shift demand for the more expensive methods of delivering health care while increasing the supply of more cost-effective services.More specifically, the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Associations launched an effort to encourage increased subscriber use of ambulatory surgery as a substitute for inpatient surgery where appropriate. We have recommended to the plans that inpatient and outpatient benefits for surgery be comparable—that is, the scope of services covered should be similar for the same procedures, whether performed in an inpatient or outpatient setting. We have also recommended to the plans that communications with physicians, hospital administrators, and other health care providers should be