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September 1968


Author Affiliations

Department of Physiology and Internal Medicine The University of Texas Medical School at San Antonio

Arch Otolaryngol. 1968;88(3):344. doi:10.1001/archotol.1968.00770010346028

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To the Editor.—In your article "The Cost of Medical Care and What You Can Do About It" reprinted in the AMA News of June 3, 1968, you discuss two reasons for the high cost of Medicaid. One is the reluctance of the patient to leave the hospital, the other is the patient's desire to be hospitalized for diagnostic studies. I have heard these statements many times from my colleagues, but it never seems to occur to them that patients do not admit themselves to hospitals nor do they discharge themselves. Doctors admit and discharge.

The doctor who does not discharge a patient when the physician knows he should go home or the physician who admits a patient only for diagnostic studies is perpetrating a fraud, in my opinion. Further, he is encouraging nonmedical persons or groups to scrutinize minutely his reasons for failure to discharge or for admission.


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