Disease, Diagnoses, and Dollars: Facing the Ever-Expanding Market for Medical Care / Edition 1

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Controversial as it questions the foundations of preventive medicine Timely criticism of the health care industry and the costs of health care Challenges established definitions of disease, specifically in cancer, cholesterol, diabetes, obesity Disease, Diagnoses, and Dollars Facing the Ever-Expanding Market for Medical Care Robert M. Kaplan, UCLA School of Public Health, Los Angeles, CA Close to 50 Million Uninsured, Steeply Rising Insurance Premiums, Employers Cutting Healthcare Benefits . . . There's plenty wrong with this picture. In Disease, Diagnoses, and Dollars, public health expert Robert Kaplan takes America's healthcare industry to task and challenges readers to examine their own roles in it. Provocative, timely, and comprehensively researched, this book analyzes the current healthcare crisis in terms of medical culture, economics, and advertising. The findings reveal a system fraught with conflicts-contradictory healthcare policies, providers who over-test and over-prescribe, patients with unrealistic demands fueled by the media-and throughout, an absence of accountability. Much of preventive medicine, Kaplan persuasively argues, comes down to the selling of expensive pills and procedures that drive up costs while subjecting the population to unneeded risks and complications. And the end result, he argues, is excess care for many people, and a dearth of care for many more. Kaplan's informed, practical, and constructive approach makes Disease, Diagnoses, and Dollars a "must-read" volume for policymakers and professionals in public health and healthcare, and for business owners as well as ordinary citizens and consumers concerned with the viability of healthcare in America.

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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Carole Ann Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (The College of New Jersey)
Description: This book discusses points of tension in the U.S. healthcare system and places the burden on readers to critically think about the paradoxes consumers face.
Purpose: The purpose is to discuss differences between what is presented by healthcare providers and what consumers may actually need. The lack of accountability in healthcare delivery is a recurring theme to evoke critical discussions or thoughtful analysis by readers.
Audience: The intended audience includes health providers and consumers. However, the content is too high level and technical for most consumers.
Features: The book includes excellent topics, starting with the disease framework of healthcare, moving to specific areas of mental health, chronic illness, then into screening for cancer, blood pressure, cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity. The final section discusses shared decision-making and practice guidelines. The author suggests that practice guideline development has been supported in many instances by pharmaceutical companies. The definitions used in these guidelines have not always been strongly evidence-based or consistent. These are important points to consider and determine if the author's assessment is accurate. The book had little information on the Institute of Medicine's reports regarding quality that have influenced healthcare delivery, which is a shortcoming.
Assessment: There are many health policy books that address ineffectiveness of healthcare delivery. No other book really questions the underpinnings of our health outcomes/parameter definitions or whether the guidelines are serving a corporate rather than individual purpose.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780387740447
  • Publisher: Springer New York
  • Publication date: 11/13/2008
  • Edition description: 2009
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 190
  • Product dimensions: 6.10 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Robert M. Kaplan is Professor and Chair of the Department of Health Services at the UCLA School of Public Health. He is also a Professor of Medicine at the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. He has been elected president of four different academic societies and has served as editor-in-chief for two major journals. Kaplan is the author or editor of 16 books and more than 400 articles or chapters. In 2005, he was elected to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science.
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Table of Contents

Disease, Outcomes, and Money.- The Disease-Reservoir Hypothesis.- Mental Models of Health and Healthcare.- What Is Disease and When Does It Begin?.- Screening for Cancer.- Deciding When Blood Pressure Is Too High.- The Cholesterol Cutoff.- Diabetes, Obesity, and the Metabolic Syndrome.- Cost-Effectiveness and Opportunity Costs.- Shared Medical Decision-Making.- Putting the Pieces Together.

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    Posted May 2, 2009

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