Physicians in one part of the country take different approaches to medical care for the same ailments and diseases than physicians do in another region. The use of beta blockers immediately after a heart attack is a well-established treatment, and in Iowa, nearly 80% of victims in 2000 received the drugs within 24 hours of a heart attack. In Alabama or Georgia fewer than 6 out of 10 patients received the drugs. Congress passed the Medicare incentive provision in an attempt to address such disparities in care.

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