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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carole A. Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (Council of International Neonatal Nurses)
Description: This book on the essentials of health policy and law considers the influencing factors that shape healthcare in the U.S. The first edition was published in 2008.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide tools to help students understand health policy and law and how healthcare delivery is shaped by the U.S. emphasis on healthcare reform, public health, insurance, as well as governmental policies regarding healthcare financing at state and local levels.
Audience: The authors aim this at students who have an interest in health policy. However, the audience can be extended to include those interested in the intersection of policy and law, practicing health professionals, and those working in supporting fields, such as educators in sociology and law.
Features: The book follows the typical course of a textbook, starting with an explanation of the role of policy and law in healthcare and public health. The next section addresses essential issues such as individual versus governmental rights, health insurance and financing, and governmental programs that are shaped by policy and implemented in the public health arena such as public health preparedness. The last section focuses on health policy analysis and includes a very basic explanation of how to write a policy analysis. Each chapter has textboxes that pose questions that reinforce content. The glossary is well done and promotes easy use. This second edition addresses the Affordable Care Act and how it impacts healthcare in an easy-to-understand way. It also compares healthcare systems and discusses public health preparedness and federal rulings that have impacted U.S. healthcare. This edition has a companion website that offers flashcards, crosswords, and other interactive learning tools.
Assessment: There are many books that address health policy and law. This one presents only the essentials, leaving in-depth discussions to other books. The second edition presents the nuances of the healthcare reform movement and Accountable Care Organizations in an understandable manner. The inclusion of the Institute of Medicine reports and the impact on patient safety and health policy make this book better than most policy books. It is a nice acquisition for educators.