Who says that medical care is based on what the patient needs? According to a front page article in The Wall Street Journal:1
"People with weak hearts, sore backs and breast cancer may think their symptoms alone decide their care.The author cites a study by Dartmouth Medical School and the American Hospital Association which revealed enormous differences in the application of invasive surgical procedures. The article suggests that this may have a lot to do with the number and aggressiveness of the surgeons in a patient's area. Not so. A patient's odds of getting a major, invasive procedure can be swayed by something else: his or her zip code."
1. "Maximum Medicine," The Wall Street Journal, July 16, 1996.