Description: This new book provides a well-written and practical survey of current health policy issues. The authors are primary care physicians who provide relevant background information in a readily understandable format.
Purpose: The purpose is to explain how the current healthcare system works, describing its organization and financing and covering issues such as prevention, quality, access, and cost containment. The authors try to show how health policy decisions have affected daily healthcare practice. They successfully interpret and explain the complexities of the healthcare system in a language that is understandable to students and practitioners.
Audience: Although targeted to medical students, residents, and practicing physicians, it will be useful to any interested student or health professional. It can also be a guide to those in health care administration and the lay public.
Features: The coverage of each topic is timely, includes all of the basics, and provides the reader with a clinician's practical perspective on problems. Each chapter has 10 to 30 brief clinical vignettes that describe how problems with the healthcare systems affect individuals. There are study questions for each chapter that can be used for student-directed discussions.
Assessment: This book fills a need for a primer on health policy and the healthcare system. Although its focus is on the medical aspects of health care, it will be useful to any health professional or student interested in an explanation of how and why the healthcare system works the way it does. It also illustrates how weaknesses in the system affect individuals. The book provides a rich context to consider and better understand current health policy issues.