Tell me please why an article is dropped after "of" in the following sentence.

Studies indicate that many patient and doctors are uncomfortable with the idea of having cost-of-care factor into end-of-life decisions"

The word "factor" is a countable noun, so an article is supposed to be there, but it is not.

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    factor in this case is a verb – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 16 '18 at 15:01
  • But why is "the" dropped before the word "cost" then? Like: having the cost of care factor... – Dmytro O'Hope Jan 16 '18 at 16:51
  • Because "cost" is an uncountable noun. – Canadian Yankee Jan 16 '18 at 17:58
  • @CanadianYankee - both "cost-of-care" and "end-of-life" look like healthcare jargon to me. Here in the UK, EOLC is End of Life Care. – Billy Kerr Jan 16 '18 at 18:49

As StoneyB says, in this particular sentence factor (or factor into) is the verb

factor (v): to consider or include (something) in making a judgment or calculation, The company would have made a lot of money, but they neglected to factor the rising cost of the raw materials into their business model.

However, it is possible to rewrite the sentence using factor as a noun:

Studies indicate that many patient and doctors are uncomfortable with the idea of having the cost-of-care factor (be) a part of end-of-life decisions"

Here, of course, the article is required. Plus it's kind of a clumsy sentence. Both mean more or less the same thing, so whether you choose the noun or the verb is a question of style, not substance.

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  • Is there "to" missing there? Like "They are uncomfortable with the idea of having to factor the cost of care into end of life decisions." does that make sense? – Dmytro O'Hope Jan 16 '18 at 16:59
  • @DmytroO'Hope That would be fine, but it would change "factor" back to the verb. "Cost-of-care factor" is a compound noun. – Andrew Jan 16 '18 at 18:38
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    @DmytroO'Hope This having is not the quasi-modal have to but "experiential" have, which takes a bare infinitival clause as its complement. For instance, "I had (=*experienced*) lightning strike my house". (And the passive version of the complement clause omits the infinitive auxiliary be: "I had my house struck by lightning.") – StoneyB on hiatus Jan 16 '18 at 23:20

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