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July 18, 1914

Surgical Charges

JAMA. 1914;LXIII(3):262. doi:10.1001/jama.1914.02570030056024

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To the Editor:  —There is no fixed rule governing the charge for surgical operations; but it is an accepted principle that it should depend on three factors, namely:

  1. The social and financial standing of the patient.

  2. The gravity of the operation, and sometimes its result.

  3. The experience and skill of the surgeon.

There is a general rule, however, often adopted by the best operators of broad ethical ideas, that the maximum charge for a major operation should be about one month's gross income of the patient; that is, if the person for whom the service is performed has a salary of $12,000 a year, or an income from business, after paying actual expenses of the business, of a similar amount, the fee should be about $1,000. This does not take into consideration the patient's living-expenses. There are, however, many considerations that may reduce the charge and a very few that

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