Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business--and Bad Medicine

Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business--and Bad Medicine

by Donald L. Barlett, James B. Steele
     
 

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ISBN-10: 0385504543

ISBN-13: 9780385504546

Pub. Date: 10/05/2004

Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group

Exposing the most controversial, little-known practices of America’s most flawed system, Time magazine’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team pulls back the curtain on the health care industry to explain exactly how things grew so out of control.

Dirty examination and operating rooms in doctor’s offices and hospitals . . . Health

Overview

Exposing the most controversial, little-known practices of America’s most flawed system, Time magazine’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team pulls back the curtain on the health care industry to explain exactly how things grew so out of control.

Dirty examination and operating rooms in doctor’s offices and hospitals . . . Health care executives pulling in millions in bonuses for denying treatment to the sick . . . More than 100 million people with inadequate or no medical coverage . . . This may sound like the predicament of a third-world nation, but this is America’s health care reality today. The U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation, yet our benefits are shrinking and life expectancy is shorter here than in countries that spend significantly less per capita. Meanwhile, HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, and hospital chains reap tremendous profits, while politicians—beholden to insurers and drug companies—enact legislation for the benefit of the few rather than the many, while the entire system is on the verge of collapse.

In Critical Condition, award-winning investigative journalists Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele expose the horror of what health care in America has become. They profile patients and doctors trapped by the system and offer startling personal stories that illuminate what’s gone wrong. Doctors tell of being second-guessed and undermined by health care insurers; nurses recount chilling tales of hospital meltdowns; patients explain how they’ve been victimized by a system that is meant to care for them. Drug companies profit by selling pills in the same manner that Madison Avenue sells soap, while Wall Street rakes in billions by building up and then tearing down health care businesses. And politicians pass legislation perpetuating the injustices and out-right fraud the system encourages.

By analyzing the industry and offering an insightful prescription for getting it back on the right track, Critical Condition is an enormously compelling investigative work that addresses the concerns of every American.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780385504546
Publisher:
The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date:
10/05/2004
Pages:
288
Product dimensions:
7.22(w) x 8.64(h) x 0.90(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Crisis1
1A Second-Rate System9
Rampant Overcharging15
Without A Safety Net24
A Teacher Learns A Lesson27
Spending More for Less32
Watchdog for the Drug Companies35
Emergency in the Er45
America's Unknown Killer51
Favors and Fraud63
Politics and Profits69
2Wall Street Medicine75
How Profit Became Policy88
Selling the Hospitals94
Corporate Culture99
Buying the Doctors109
Nurses Who Battle the Bottom Line113
3Anatomy of a Systems Failure123
A Bad Business Model128
Doctor C's Empire132
Meltdown139
Vanishing Histories145
4The Labyrinth of Care155
The New Bureaucrats158
Overruling the Physicians161
The Wrong Jobs170
The Insurers' Secret Codes172
Long-Distance Diagnosis182
Online and Offshore189
5Madison Avenue Medicine195
Blame it on Bad Breath199
The TV Ad Blitz203
"Ask Your Doctor"210
Risky Business215
The Celebrity Pitch223
Your Next Drugs227
6The Remedy235
Curing the Ills240
Crisis and Opportunity247
Epilogue: Medicine in the Media251
Notes259
Acknowledgments267
Index269

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