MICHAEL B. SIMSON, M.D.
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To the editor: In the analysis of laboratory costs by Drs. Griner and Liptzin (Ann Intern Med 75:157-163, 1971) they do not distinguish between charges made to the patient and actual expense to the hospital. A wide discrepancy typically exists between these two figures. For example, the expense to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania for the entire process of measuring serum electrolytes, blood urea nitrogen, and glucose, from venipuncture by a technician to computer reporting, is roughly $3.00. The inpatient is billed $74.40.
If one calculates from patient bills, one will seriously overestimate the contribution to total hospital
SIMSON MB. Laboratory Tests: Bills and Costs. Ann Intern Med. 1971;75:803–804. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-75-5-803_2
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1971;75(5):803-804.
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