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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Patrick Albert Palmieri, DHSc, EdS, MBA, MSN, MSc (c)(A. T. Still University)
Description: This excellent book provides a general overview of finance in health services with attention to the essential elements for clinical operations.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide entry-level operations managers with the basic financial principles and essential operations applications necessary to manage health services.
Audience: This is an important resource for health services management personnel seeking education and professional development in healthcare finance. It is an essential resource for clinical professionals seeking to understand the role of healthcare finance in clinical operations management. The author is a well regarded healthcare finance professional and health services administration scholar.
Features: The strength of this book lies in the 13 well-organized chapters, which are grouped into four sections: foundation concepts; planning, managing, and control; financing and capital investment; and reporting results. Each of the chapters is structured with an opening central theme vignette and learning objectives, critical concept and special consideration boxes to illustrate important concepts, self-test questions, theme wrap-up discussion of the vignette, concluding with a review of key concepts and end-of-chapter questions. Important definitions are provided in the chapter margins, facilitating recognition and review. Overall, this structure is excellent for learning. Additional online learning material includes four additional chapters to address more focused specialized finance areas such as lease finance and business valuation. Also, there are online appendixes to expand learning for operational and financial analysis. Finally, there are five selected cases for knowledge application. The book could be improved with the addition of color, as all the diagrams and figures are in black and white. Furthermore, there are very few references, including learning resources such as websites, organizations, and/or publications. Entry-level professionals are unable to access important materials such as the end-of-chapter question solutions. As the book audience includes entry-level professionals in addition to students, this resource should be accessible.
Assessment: This is an important resource for students and entry-level professionals seeking to learn the essentials of healthcare finance. The second edition has been strengthened by the restructuring of chapters to include contemporary examples, additional areas for reader reflection and content application, and revisions to bring the material into congruence with the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants guidance. Overall, this is an excellent choice for an entry-level healthcare finance course or for entry-level professional development. In terms of similar books, Health Care Finance: Basic Tools for Nonfinancial Managers, 4th edition, Baker and Baker (Jones & Bartlett Learning, 2013), is probably the closest. Both these books are excellent choices, but the Gapenski is more focused on financial principles for operations managers while the Baker focuses on financial principles for clinical professionals.