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July 6, 1963

Payment for Laboratory Survey in Hereditary Disease

JAMA. 1963;185(1):52. doi:10.1001/jama.1963.03060010078022

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To the Editor:—  With the current interest in the hereditary nature of disease and the aid to be derived from a positive family history in many diseases, the physician finds himself studying persons who would not have been seen formerly.Furthermore, we may find that we need laboratory tests on the patient's relatives. This poses a problem of whom to charge. When relatives of an outpatient are tested, one may bill the patient directly if he agrees. For a hospitalized patient the same procedure should apply. If the diagnosis and hospital care of the patient are being paid for by his health insurance, may one not assume that his insurance will pay for these tests also? As these tests are an essential part of the diagnosis or its confirmation, they become an essential part of the care and diagnostic tests for which the insurance provides.Let us then accept and

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