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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Carole Ann Kenner, PhD, RN, FAAN (The College of New Jersey)
Description: Now in its sixth edition, this health policy book uses a backdrop of clinical scenarios. The previous edition was published in 2005.
Purpose: The purpose is to present health policy from the vantage point of its impact on individuals, families, and organizations. It also portrays the complexity of healthcare delivery and financing, and the concomitant policy implications.
Audience: Health sciences students interested in health policy are the intended audience, but I would add anyone interested in health policy — practicing health professionals, policy students, business students, and healthcare administrators.
Features: The book follows the usual health policy themes, such as cost of healthcare, reimbursement modes, healthcare delivery and changes with healthcare reform, quality of care and patient safety concerns, the delicate and controversial topic of medical ethics and rationing of services, and, finally, the debate about challenges and opportunities for policy and delivery changes in the current healthcare reform climate. There are several notable omissions in this edition. In the chapter on health professions education, there is no mention of the IOM Health Professions Education report of 2003 that set the stage for interprofessional competencies across disciplines. Nor is there mention of the Interprofessional Education Collaborative that has set the interprofessional competencies. The other key report is the 2010 Lancet report by Julio Frenk and Lincoln Chen, "Health Professionals for a New Century: Transforming Education to Strengthen Health Systems in an Interdependent World." These reports, along with the movement towards GNE dollars for nursing education fashioned after GME dollars for medical education, are important influencing factors in today's healthcare/policy environment.
Assessment: There are many health policy books out. This one has a longstanding following, spanning almost 20 years. Its niche is in providing clinical scenarios in each chapter and ending the book with discussion questions that challenge students to think critically about today's health policy issues.