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From The CriticsReviewer: Steven K. Hamick, BIS, RCP, RRT, AE-C(William Beaumont Hospitals)
Description: This book describes the U.S. healthcare system, including an overview of the healthcare industry, the financial and nonfinancial aspects, healthcare provider organizations and settings, and quality improvement perspectives. The previous edition was published in 2001.
Purpose: According to the authors, the objective is to explain the structure and function of the healthcare system so that all participants can better fulfill their duties within the system. Given the complexity and challenges of the U.S. healthcare system, this is a needed resource.
Audience: The audience includes "participants" of the healthcare system, which is taken to mean those employed in the system as well as those paying into and using the system. Given the easy to read format coupled with the extensive historical and up-to-date perspectives, it is clear the authors are experts in their fields.
Features: "Similar in format to its predecessors, the book is divided into five parts, each one covering one area of the healthcare system. Part one is an overview including historical evolution dating back to the mid 19th century. Part two discusses the financial aspects of healthcare from expenditures to insurance. Part three examines healthcare providers, including hospitals and health systems. Part four discusses the nonfinancial resources in healthcare, including the pharmaceutical industry and healthcare professionals. Part five focuses on assessing and regulating health services, quality and ethical concerns which segues in to the last chapter on the future of health services, which contains common sense predictions of potential changes given current pressures on the healthcare system. "
Assessment: This is an excellent description of the extremely complex U.S. healthcare system. Given the continuous financial and technological changes in healthcare, it is a valued replacement for its predecessor.