Epidemic of Care: A Call for Safer, Better, and More Accountable Health Care / Edition 1

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Health care premiums in the U.S. are escalating from twelve totwenty percent a year— with no end in sight. The impact ofthose cost increases on both employers and employees will be huge.Workers will see a direct cut in their take-home pay. Millions willlose health insurance coverage completely. Senior citizens on fixedincomes will be hit particularly hard, as premiums for theirMedicare supplement plans and prescription drug costs climb.Frustrated and angry, people will soon be demanding a solution fromtheir elected officials, and, for the first time in recent memory,the size of our unemployed population will become a real politicalissue rather than just the subject of energetic rhetoric. It istime to recognize that we are moving into a major health carecrisis in this country, a crisis driven by the way we deliver,receive, and pay for care.

Epidemic of Care offers a comprehensive assessment of thefactors behind the cost crisis, how the crisis will escalate, andwhat can be done to improve the situation. A blueprint for gettingto a coherent national health policy, this book calls for acollaboration between different parts of the private sector, stateand local governments, and, at times, the federal government—with a formula that can succeed no matter who rules Congress.Authors George C. Halvorson and George J. Isham, M.D.— twoindividuals who have made an impressive impact on the nationalhealth care scene— provide some practical, field-tested,sometimes controversial suggestions about how to make health carein this country more accountable, more efficient, more valuable,and more affordable.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“ This well-written book describes…in great depth the many problems that health care in the United States encounter…” (International Journal of Integrated Care, 2 August 2004)

"...one of the more lucid explanations of what is going on in US health care...the authors are well qualified to do the explaining..." (British Medical Journal, 12 July 2003)

"There is much to like about this book. Everyone can have a role in Halvorson and Isham's plan." (New England Journal of Medicine, August 28, 2003)

"The authors don't miss a trick; they have covered all the bases." (Inquiry, Fall 2003)

"...the writing style is very accessible, and the discussion includes points that may not be as commonly discussed outside of medical schools." (E-Streams, December 2003)

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780787968885
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 4/22/2003
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 304
  • Product dimensions: 6.22 (w) x 9.29 (h) x 1.19 (d)

Meet the Author

George C. Halvorson is chairman and CEO of KaiserPermanente, America's leading integrated health care organization.He was formerly president and CEO of HealthPartners in Minneapolis,Minnesota and has helped start HMOs in countries around the world.Halvorson has written several books on health care topics,including the highly-praised Strong Medicine (1993).

George J. Isham, M.D., is medical director and chiefhealth officer for HealthPartners. He is a founding board member ofthe Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement in Minnesota and hasbeen a national leader in quality improvement methods.

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Table of Contents

Preface and Acknowledgments.


Introduction: What Happened to My Paycheck?

The Authors.

1. Miracles Cost Money.

2. Unsafe at Any Cost.

3. Who Really Pays for All of That Care?

4. If It Works or Might Work, You Owe It to Me: How Americans’ Entitlement to Care Drives Up Costs.

5. Care Monopolies.

6. Does the United States Pay Fair Prices by World Standards?

7. How the Internet Is Changing Health Care: I Learned About My Prosthesis on the Web.

8. The Coming Crunch in Health Care Workers.

9. Medical Necessity Calls, Fee Cuts, and PR Errors—Not a Good Start.

10. So Why Don’t We Just Go to a Single-Payer System and Save Bucks Like the Brits?

11. Where Do We Go from Here? A Call for a National Health Strategy.

12. Patients Deserve Safe Care.

13. 401(k) Equivalent Choices in Health Care.

14. Most Health Care Costs Are the Result of Bad Health.

15. Caregiver Monopolies Should Not Be Our Care Model of Choice.

16. Cut the Number of Uninsured in Half.

17. Training Tomorrow’s Caregivers and Reengineering Care Delivery.

18. A Call to Action.



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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 4 )
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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2005

    Propaganda form HMO Millionaires

    HMOs are the primary reason our health care system is in trouble. This book is simply propaganda written by two of the benefactors of the crimes committed against the U.S. public by HMOs. Enthoven,by the way, was McNamara's 'numbers' man for the Viet Nam War.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2003


    Health care will probably be a hot topic in the 2004 presidential election; stay informed by reading this great analysis of our health care system. Especially interesting were the chapters on 'miracle' treatments (costs may seem high, but we're actually getting tremendous value for our dollars ) and the chapter comparing the U.S. health system with those of other nations.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 27, 2003

    Epidemic of Care

    Epidemic of Care provides a succinct overview of what presently ails our nations health care delivery system. It demonstrates how our health care delivery system is really a non-system with millions of independent, uncoordinated, and separately moving parts, priorities and vested interests. The result of this morass, more than forty million uninsured citizens, inconsistent and unaccountable care, and the fastest growing and most wasteful health care delivery economy in the world. The authors argue that it is time for all parties -- payors, providers, consumers and policymakers -- to recognize that the U.S. is approaching a major health care crisis that is driven by the way we deliver, receive, and pay for care. Epidemic of Care offers a convincing portray how this impending crisis will impact nearly every segment of our society, including: >> diminished take-home pay for America¿s workers >> increases to the rate of uninsured as smaller companies drop health care coverage altogether >> strains to senior¿s incomes as premiums for Medicare supplement plans and prescription drug costs climb >> diminished quality resulting from inconsistent or uncoordinated care The cure -- collaboration between payors, providers, consumers and policymakers to achieve a more accountable, efficient and affordable health care delivery system.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2003

    Health care's diagnosis--and potential cure

    In clear terms, Halvorson and Isham examine why the American health care ¿non-¿ system continues to deliver some of the best health care in the world¿and some of the worst¿at a price fewer and fewer people can afford. The authors do an excellent job of assessing the current health care landscape, how it got that way, and what health care decision-makers and consumers can do about it. In these days of ¿cost shifting¿ and ¿skinny¿ benefits, their emphasis on health care delivery redesign is a refreshing reminder that measuring and rewarding quality is the only way to truly solve the health care crisis.

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