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The Provision of Health Services:A Challenge for the Future

Ann Intern Med. 1968;69(5):980-985. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-69-5-980
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Burgeoning costs of Medicare and Medicaid have focused attention upon the paradox of the economics of medical care. The anachronistic practices of "cost-reimbursement" and "multiple pricing" for hospital services and the need for a surrogate "profit" incentive to increase productivity in this nonprofit sector are discussed. It is the responsibility of both administrators and physicians to understand these economic facts and to support political efforts to achieve reform. Without basic restructuring of health economics, continuing increase in costs and concomitant erosion of the profession's image are predictable and inevitable.

The joint endeavor by medicine and government that is absolutely essential to solve the nation's health problems will be possible only if our profession learns to understand and respect the constraints within which political decisions can be taken in today's complex and changing society.





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