Thoracentesis: a case study in the failure of cost containment

  • Gilbert Berdine
Keywords: Price Controls, Cost Containment, Health Care Costs, Thoracentesis Costs, Austrian Analysis of Health Care

Abstract

An argument advanced in favor of single payer health care is the alleged ability of a single payer to contain costs from increasing. This is known as cost containment. Austrian economic theory explains why price controls fail to contain costs, and an Austrian analysis of price controls is presented in this review. The history of thoracentesis since the 1980s is provided as an empiric example of Austrian analysis. This history illustrates how a price control to limit the Medicare reimbursement for outpatient thoracentesis to under $100 has led to the contemporary situation of thoracentesis performed in hospital at costs exceeding $50,000. 

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References

Taghizadeh N, Fortin M, Tremblay A, et al. US Hospitalizations for Malignant Pleural Effusions : Data From the 2012 National Inpatient Sample. Chest. 2017:151[4], 845-854

2016 Medicare Trustees Report. 2017 at https://www.cms.gov/research-statistics-data-and-systems/statistics-trends-and-reports/reportstrustfunds/downloads/tr2016.pdf

Published
2017-07-19
How to Cite
Berdine, G. (2017). Thoracentesis: a case study in the failure of cost containment. The Southwest Respiratory and Critical Care Chronicles, 5(20), 50-53. https://doi.org/10.12746/swrccc.v5i20.401