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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: James C Townsend, DHSc., MBA, MIS (A. T. Still University)
Description: This update to a comprehensive introduction to the U.S. healthcare system includes an overview of the provisions of the Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA). The previous edition was published in 2010.
Purpose: Given the changes in healthcare in the U.S. and the passage of the ACA, this book provides a much needed update. The authors provide sufficient background information, examples, illustrations, and tools for interested readers and practitioners to learn more about their chosen field of healthcare.
Audience: Although this is intended to serve as an introductory textbook for students in public health, medicine, pharmacy and allied health, it is also a great source of information for anyone who has an interest in the organization of healthcare in the U.S. The authors and contributors have extensive experience that spans the fields of medicine, public health, academia, research, and public policy.
Features: A broad overview of the U.S. healthcare system begins the book, which then dives into the major influences that shape healthcare in the U.S., covering such topics as health information technology, medical education, financing healthcare, the role of governments, research, the future of healthcare, etc. The book also comes with an access code for a companion website that enables readers to further their learning with interactive exercises such as crossword puzzles, flashcards, and a matching questions activity. The only shortcoming of the book is its timing with the passing of the ACA. The authors make a valiant effort to highlight the most important details of the new law and some possible implications it may have on the future of the U.S. healthcare system. However, it is too early in the passing of the law to describe how the law will affect the U.S. healthcare system in its entirety. Perhaps subsequent editions will contain more in-depth details of the ACA and its effects on the U.S. healthcare system.
Assessment: With the constant changes in the U.S. healthcare system, this update is needed to provide an up-to-date introduction to healthcare as well as the forces (e.g., political, social, professional, and economic) that shape it.