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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Anna Maio, MD (Creighton University Medical Center)
Description: This book discusses the failure of our previous insurance system and the rise of managed care. The authors also present the negatives and positives of managed care and offer strategies to improve its quality.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide a candid and balanced assessment of managed care today.
Audience: This book is written for all who would like a candid and balanced view of managed care. The authors state, however, that the book is not written for those involved in health services research since most of the material would already be known to them. The authors bring different experiences to the book. Robert Berenson is a physician and Walter Zelman has been a political activist involved in insurance reform. They both participated in the failed Clinton Health Care Reform effort.
Features: Information is delivered in an organized format. An outline of the failure of our previous system and a discussion of its quality issues are followed by a detailed overview of managed care including its beginning, quality improvement, and cost issues. The final chapter offers 13 steps to raise the quality of managed care. A song title or phrase is the subtitle of each chapter and ties in well with the title of the book, in addition to increasing the reader's enjoyment. Any graphs or drawings are quite minimal and are few and far between.
Assessment: Since managed care is here to stay awhile, this book helps the reader to chase away the managed care blues. After reading the chapter on strategies to improve quality, I found myself more hopeful and better prepared to participate in the progress.