The Cost of Cutting: A Surgeon Reveals the Truth Behind a Multibillion-Dollar Industry

Overview

Why is surgery so expensive?
 
Surgeon Paul A. Ruggieri reveals little-known truths about his profession—and the hidden flaws of our healthcare system—in this compelling and troubling account of real patients, real doctors, and how money influences medical decisions behind the scenes. Even many well-informed patients have no idea what may be contributing to the cost of their surgery. With up-to-date research and stories from his practice, ...

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The Cost of Cutting: A Surgeon Reveals the Truth Behind a Multibillion-Dollar Industry

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Overview

Why is surgery so expensive?
 
Surgeon Paul A. Ruggieri reveals little-known truths about his profession—and the hidden flaws of our healthcare system—in this compelling and troubling account of real patients, real doctors, and how money influences medical decisions behind the scenes. Even many well-informed patients have no idea what may be contributing to the cost of their surgery. With up-to-date research and stories from his practice, Ruggieri shows how business arrangements among hospitals, insurance companies, and surgeons affect who gets treatment—and whether they get the right treatment. Pulling back the curtain from the hospital bed, he explains how to safeguard one’s own health (and finances), and how America can make surgery more affordable for all without sacrificing quality care.
 

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

This new book by the author of Confessions of a Surgeon addresses an increasingly pervasive question: Why does surgery cost so much? For patients and their families, the answers don't come quickly or easily. When one buys a car, a computer, or even a house, we expect to know its price; finding the cost of even common surgical procedures is almost never that easy. And once we do learn the charges, they invariably seem staggering: Even the minimally invasive surgery market is fast approaching $50 billion a year. Dr. Paul Ruggieri's The Cost of Cutting performs an intensive surgical operation on the hard dollars and often lack of sense in this almost unavoidable enterprise. Editor's recommendation.

Kirkus Reviews
2014-07-01
Surgeon Ruggieri (Confessionsof a Surgeon: The Good, the Bad, and the Complicated…Life Behind the O.R. Doors,2012) tutors readers on the economic forces that make the surgical theatertick.Over the past 25 years, the author has seen much change inthe practice of medicine: large strides in surgical procedures and tools andmoney's ever greater sphere of influence. Ruggieri is a fine storyteller, whichis a good thing, for although he peppers the book with dramatic anecdotes fromhis practice, his real exploration focuses on the financial side of the medicalequation. Surgery is big business, the very lifeblood of hospitals and, as theauthor readily acknowledges, the surgeon's as well. However, as various marketforces come into play, the surgeon's income is decreasing. Fifty millionoperations are performed annually in the United States, which raises thequestion of volume over quality. More to Ruggieri's concern, however, "all thismoney carries with it power and influence. When it comes to medical decisionmaking, power and influence are not what you want motivating your surgeon, yourhospital, or your insurance company." The introduction of diagnostic tools,like CAT and MRI scans, offers new medical information, often known as"incidental findings," which contributes to the $150 billion in unnecessary surgicalfees. Hospitals feel compelled to introduce the latest gadgetry, withoutdemonstrated superiority, to appear market-friendly. Too many pressures blurthe line between operating for love or money, though Ruggieri sees some obvioussteps to be taken: Cut payments for poor-quality outcomes, cut reimbursementfor elective surgery, and pay less for operations with dubious benefits. Theauthor has much to say about the world of bullying in medicine—both patientsand surgeons on the receiving end—as well as cautionary material on howproviders will be reacting to the Affordable Care Act.Top-shelf instruction on the mechanics of the medicaleconomy.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780425272312
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/2/2014
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 269,195
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.20 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Paul A. Ruggieri, M.D., is a board-certified general/laparoscopic surgeon and the author of books, including Confessions of a Surgeon.
 

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