To the Editor: Two problems raise grave questions about the conclusion of Biles et al. in the September 18 issue that state regulation of hospital rates has been effective in containing hospital costs. In the first place, the article focused on the difference between rates of increase in hospital expenses in regulated and nonregulated states from 1976 to 1978, and it ignored the trends in the rates of increase. Secondly, the article ignored environmental factors that may have more influence on the rates of increase than does rate regulation itself. With regard to the first issue, it should be pointed.
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