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November 1985

Surgonomics: Money Down the Drains

Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Surgery, Long Island Jewish—Hillside Medical Center, New Hyde Park, NY, and The State University of New York, Stony Brook.

Arch Surg. 1985;120(11):1285-1287. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1985.01390350067014

• The importance of delivering cost-effective quality surgical care has increased with the introduction of new payment mechanisms designed to slow the rise in health care costs. We examined the reasons for the use of a commonly used surgical input—a drain—to determine surgeons' feelings about the importance of costs. Both resident and attending general surgeons felt that the cost of the input was not an important consideration in the decision-making process of choosing the input. We believe that these findings are applicable across the range of inputs (hospital days, laboratory tests, ancillary procedures) used by surgeons in their practices. Unless this changes in the future, surgeons will not be able to provide quality surgical care within economic constraints.

(Arch Surg 1985;120:1285-1287)

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