The cost of a procedure should always be a secondary factor in determining the best treatment for an individual patient.

However, with increasing national health-care costs, economic considerations are playing a greater role in medical care.

Institutions and insurance companies are closely supervising expenditures and do influence the types of treatments available to physicians and patients.

The development of drugs and new technologies by the health-care industry is also strongly driven by economic considerations.

In order for physicians to be able to continue to provide the best and least morbid treatment, there is a need to understand the economic implications of different treatment modalities and strive to practice with fiscal responsibility.

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