Don't Let Health Care Bankrupt America: Strategies for Financial Survival


We cannot afford to spend as much money as we spend today on health care. Health care costs are destroying state and federal budgets and health care costs are driving American families into financial collapse.

We spend twice as much money on care as the rest of the world's industrialized nations. Most of those countries get better care, faster care and more care than we do-and they all spend a lot less money in the process.

Health care saves ...

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We cannot afford to spend as much money as we spend today on health care. Health care costs are destroying state and federal budgets and health care costs are driving American families into financial collapse.

We spend twice as much money on care as the rest of the world's industrialized nations. Most of those countries get better care, faster care and more care than we do-and they all spend a lot less money in the process.

Health care saves lives. That is wonderful. Health care costs can impair the financial functioning for the lives that are saved. That is clearly not wonderful. It isn't right for care costs and expenses to destroy the lives that are saved by care.

This book explains how to resolve those issues.

Uwe Reinhardt, Joseph Antos, Ron Pollack and Dr Dean Ornish offer their thoughts on the book.

"Don't Let Health Care Bankrupt America lays out a practical agenda of reforms needed to maintain and improve the quality of health care in this country without imposing ruinous costs on ourselves and our children. The message is clear: our health system must be re-engineered to produce health care that is appropriate, high value, and efficient. George Halvorson argues that we need to reform the business of health and bring the patient to the front of the line when deciding how health care should be delivered. Real patient-centered care, smarter use of electronic medical records, better care coordination, price transparency combined with price relevancy, bundled payment in place of piece-rate pricing, accountability and personal responsibility, and the adoption of smarter competition-based approaches to Medicare and Medicaid are on the agenda for system-wide improvement. George Halvorson speaks with three decades of experience in managing health systems, and he practices what he preaches. We would do well to heed that advice."

-Joseph Antos, Wilson H. Taylor Scholar in Health Care and Retirement Policy at the American Enterprise Institute.

"George C. Halvorson's Don't Let Health Care Bankrupt America is written by one of America's most distinguished health care executives, one who spent the bulk of his professional career as an executive of large health systems.

The value of the book is that it is based on intimate, hands-on knowledge of how U.S. health care actually works. I personally have long recommended the model Halvorson has managed for many years - the Kaiser Permanent model - to policy makers in other countries.

All Americans should read this insightful book, written with a blend of passion for a better health system and the practical experience to give Halvorson's recommendations credibility.

The leaders of American health care, in particular, should read it, as a reminder that, for all of the great value they undoubtedly do bestow on patients, their often wasteful practices are triggering intolerably high social opportunity costs."

-Uwe Reinhardt, James Madison Professor of Political Economy, Professor of Economics and Public Affairs, Princeton University

"George Halvorson is not only a leading pioneer in organizing patient-centered health care. He also, through this book, presents us with an effective road map so America can achieve high-quality, good-value health care. The book combines the best in theory and practicality so we can all contribute to continual improvements for our nation's health and health care."

-Ron Pollack, executive director, Families USA (the national organization for health care consumers).

"After more than 10 years as CEO of the largest managed care organization on the planet, George Halvorson shares his deep wisdom and experience in showing that the best way to lower health care costs is by creating better health. Eminently practical, extraordinarily visionary, deeply inspiring, and highly recommended."

-Dr Dean Ornish, founder and president, Preventive Medicine Research Institute and Clinical Professor of Medicine at the University of California, San Fr

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781493570270
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
  • Publication date: 12/9/2013
  • Pages: 450
  • Sales rank: 743,058
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.91 (d)

Meet the Author

George C. Halvorson served as chairman and chief executive officer of Kaiser Permanente from 2002-2013. Kaiser Permanente is the nation's largest nonprofit health plan and hospital system, serving more than 9 million members and generating $55 billion in annual revenue.

He is now Chairman and CEO of the Institute for InterGroup Understanding and also chairs the California First 5 Commission. The Institute works on issues of ethnic and racial conflict. The Commission works on creating optimal health and learning opportunities for the children of California under the age of five years.

Halvorson was recently honored with the 2013 HISTalk Health Care IT Lifetime Achievement Award as well as America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) Inaugural Lifetime Achievement Award and National Action Network's inaugural Health Care Award.

In 2012, he was the social media chair for the Global Health Policy Forum and was named No. 6 on Modern Healthcare's annual 100 Most Influential People in Healthcare list.

Halvorson has written six health care reform guidebooks, including Ending Racial, Ethnic and Cultural Disparities in American Health Care, Health Care Will Not Reform Itself: A User's Guide to Refocusing and Reforming American Health Care, Health Care Reform Now!, Health Care Co-ops in Uganda, Strong Medicine, and Epidemic of Care. In 2012, he published KP Inside: 101 Letters to Us at Kaiser Permanente, which is a compilation of letters he has written to KP employees each week since September 27, 2007.

Prior to joining Kaiser Permanente, Halvorson was president and chief executive officer of HealthPartners, headquartered in Minneapolis, for nearly 18 years. With more than 30 years of health care management experience, he has also held several senior management positions with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota, and Health Accord International.

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