AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Journal of Ethics Header

AMA Journal of Ethics®

Illuminating the art of medicine

Virtual Mentor. November 1999, Volume 1, Number 3.

Ethics Poll

Geographic Variations in the Use of Health Services

The Ethics Poll is a snapshot of the opinions of interested readers.

The existence of geographic variation raises the following question: what is the "correct" rate of utilization of health care services? This question encompasses important quality of care and distributive justice issues. Given differences in the rates of health care utilization, what do you think is the primary reason for the observed geographic variation?

Poll Results

Given differences in the rates of health care utilization, what do you think is the primary reason for the observed geographic variation?
29 votes recorded

Poor diffusion of clinical practice guidelines
14 Votes - 48%

Differences in patient clinical severity
0 Votes - 0%

Differences in patient preferences of clinical treatment
0 Votes - 0%

Varying supply of health care resources (i.e., number of hospital beds in a given locale)
9 Votes - 31%

Varying financial incentives for physicians
6 Vote - 20%

Poll results reflect the opinions of visitors to the site who voluntarily answer the poll questions. Those visitors do not represent a random sample of Virtual Mentor readers. The viewpoints expressed on this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of the AMA.