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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Brenda Bergman-Evans, PhD, APRN (Creighton University School of Nursing)
Description: In the United States, healthcare expenditures are great by any standards, yet the quality of care received by the populace is often less than desirable. In this book, the editor has compiled an impressive group of journal articles and book chapters related to contemporary health policy. The influence that the federal and state programs of Medicare and Medicaid have had on healthcare is reinforced from several vantage points throughout the book.
Purpose: The purpose is twofold: 1) clarification of the direct role health policy plays in both the pursuit and the actual health status of individuals in the United States; and 2) provision of an overview of key contemporary health policy issues facing the nation.
Audience: The primary audience for the book would be health policy students.
Features: The reader is provided with an array of perspectives, including the history of the movements and a forecast of the future for these programs. The book is divided into three sections. The first explores the relationships between health policy and health, including innovative local and state programs that have sought to reform healthcare systems. The second section focuses on key policy issues. The reader is afforded insights related to healthcare provider education, consumer safety and protection, liability, and medical errors as well as the relationship between health and societal threats. The final section focuses on the impact that the American healthcare system exerts directly on the economy via expenditures, health insurance coverage, and existing Medicare and Medicaid coverage.
Assessment: The book is comprehensive and makes an ideal reference or supplement to a textbook. A problem with any book, and especially one that uses previously published works, is currency. However, the blend of primary articles and original work should be useful for several years.