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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carole Ann Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (The College of New Jersey)
Description: This book discusses the interface of health policy with healthcare provision, explaining how the healthcare system operates.
Purpose: The purpose is to explain how the healthcare system functions or fails to function in order to discuss needed changes.
Audience: The intended audience is health professional graduate students, but the book would be useful to any student or practicing health professional who really has not had an in-depth policy course or a review of healthcare delivery issues.
Features: The book logically progresses from a description of healthcare delivery to the issues of payment, access, reimbursement, and organization. Workforce health professions' education is discussed, presenting shortage data. The final chapters focus on costs, quality, health promotion/disease prevention, ethical issues, and four cases of national healthcare in Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and Canada. Final sections present the core issues facing the new federal administration: national health insurance, conflict or resistance to change, and challenges. Discussion questions that can be used for classroom or group discussions are the finale. Case studies bring the content to life, helping readers relate to personal experiences. The book would have been strengthened by tying into the Institute of Medicine's competencies for healthcare as well as the Institute for Healthcare Improvement and the quality movement.
Assessment: Of the many health policy books, this is the only one that is succinct and clinically oriented.