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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Eric P Matthews, PhD, MSed, MA (A. T. Still University)
Description: This update of a book on the U.S. healthcare system incorporates information on pertinent government policies that have been instituted since the 2009 edition. This is an abbreviated version of the authors' comprehensive work, Delivering Health Care in America: A Systems Approach, 5th edition (Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2012).
Purpose: The primary purpose is to incorporate information on U.S. healthcare policy changes since the publication of the previous edition. The inclusion of updated statistics and information on the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 make this a worthwhile objective.
Audience: This well-written tome is aimed at postsecondary students who are taking a survey course on the U.S. healthcare system or those who need a supplementary text to support other studies. The authors are knowledgeable experts and well-known for their books. They accomplish the goal of providing an intermediary work that is comprehensive (covering material beyond an introductory level) but is not burdensome and can be easily read and interpreted by college and university students.
Features: The book covers the U.S. healthcare system from its colonial founding through the modern era. It divides this subject into broad themes and separates the chapters accordingly. The first section covers the basis of the current system. The historical perspectives provided in this section are invaluable, but weak. The second section covers the necessary resources to support the healthcare system, then the process of healthcare, taking readers through the system. Finally, a section covers the outcomes of healthcare. Dividing the book along these lines allows for a smooth progression of learning as readers build upon their knowledge, working through the entire process.
Assessment: This much-needed update incorporates the many major changes in U.S. healthcare policy and delivery that have occurred since 2009. The book is very useful as a standalone textbook for introductory students or as an adjunct to more comprehensive books for advanced students. It covers the U.S. healthcare system with enough detail to deliver pertinent information without being pedantic, redundant, or difficult to understand.