Health Care Half Truths: Too Many Myths, Not Enough Realityby Arthur Garson, Carolyn L. Engelhard
Aren't you tired of hearing that the American health care "system" is broken? Well, it is: you can't understand your billor pay it; you wait for an hour before seeing the doctor for 10 minutes; and that was your child who was just laid off, and whose family has no health insurance. Now, a new book by Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., Dean of the University of
Aren't you tired of hearing that the American health care "system" is broken? Well, it is: you can't understand your billor pay it; you wait for an hour before seeing the doctor for 10 minutes; and that was your child who was just laid off, and whose family has no health insurance. Now, a new book by Dr. Arthur Garson Jr., Dean of the University of Virginia School of Medicine, informs Americans about American health care, ways in which it is tarnished and ways in which it shines. Garson says that if we are going to make our healthcare system work for us we must begin with a common set of information; but our current information comes from "sound bites" that on their surface seem perfectly reasonable, but on closer examination are wrong. Health Care Half-Truths untangles the misinformation, misperceptions and confusion that have confounded the American public and our elected officials. Dr. Garson identifies twenty myths about the U.S. health care system and uses his extensive knowledge and keen insights to blow them apart. diagnoses the health care crisis, addresses and debunks 20 commonly held perceptions, and delivers a system that meets the needs of patients, physicians, and politicians.
A much-needed dose of realism, this state-of-the-policy report should be required reading for anyone weighing in on the debate over health-care reform, especially students of health policy. Dean Garson and policy analyst Engelhard, both of the University of Virginia's School of Medicine, show how both defenders and opponents of the current American health-care system rely on false truisms and lazy thinking, such as the idea that most health-care dollars are spent in the last six months of life, or that consumer choice automatically improves care. Members of Congress cling to the hope that quality-improvement programs or more preventive care will save enough money to bail out Medicare and other programs, but Garson and Engelhard expose the flaws in these arguments. Thanks largely to its well thought-out structure, this book makes a surprisingly quick read; in the introduction, for example, the authors' myth vs. reality chapter descriptions make for easy browsing and reference. The sheer number of misconceptions exposed and the seemingly intractable dysfunction of the health-care system as a whole result in a sobering tour, but the final chapter proposes some sound, if occasionally controversial, solutions. Though more general readers may balk at some tedious hair-splitting, this title successfully flushes the plaque from the hardened arteries of the country's health-care dialogue. (Apr.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Meet the Author
Arthur Garson, Jr., MD, MPH, is Executive Vice President and Provost of the University of Virginia and previously was dean of the University's School of Medicine. He is a member of the National Academics Institute of Medicine. He has served as president of the American College of Cardiology and was appointed by Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson to chair the National Advisory Council for the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. He continues to practice medicine, caring for children with heart disease. Carolyn L. Engelhard, MPA, is assistant professor of medical education and a health policy analyst in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Virginia School of Medicine. In addition, she directs the Master of Science program in clinical research and provides technical and consultative services to state health and Medicaid agencies.
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