Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business--and Bad Medicine / Edition 1

Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business--and Bad Medicine / Edition 1

by Donald L. Barlett
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The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
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Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business--and Bad Medicine / Edition 1

Exposing the most controversial, little-known practices of America’s most flawed system, Time magazine’s Pulitzer Prize-winning investigative team pulls back the curtain on the health care industry to explain exactly how things grew so out of control.

Dirty examination and operating rooms in doctor’s offices and hospitals . . . Health care executives pulling in millions in bonuses for denying treatment to the sick . . . More than 100 million people with inadequate or no medical coverage . . . This may sound like the predicament of a third-world nation, but this is America’s health care reality today. The U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation, yet our benefits are shrinking and life expectancy is shorter here than in countries that spend significantly less per capita. Meanwhile, HMOs, pharmaceutical companies, and hospital chains reap tremendous profits, while politicians—beholden to insurers and drug companies—enact legislation for the benefit of the few rather than the many, while the entire system is on the verge of collapse.

In Critical Condition, award-winning investigative journalists Donald L. Barlett and James B. Steele expose the horror of what health care in America has become. They profile patients and doctors trapped by the system and offer startling personal stories that illuminate what’s gone wrong. Doctors tell of being second-guessed and undermined by health care insurers; nurses recount chilling tales of hospital meltdowns; patients explain how they’ve been victimized by a system that is meant to care for them. Drug companies profit by selling pills in the same manner that Madison Avenue sells soap, while Wall Street rakes in billions by building up and then tearing down health care businesses. And politicians pass legislation perpetuating the injustices and out-right fraud the system encourages.

By analyzing the industry and offering an insightful prescription for getting it back on the right track, Critical Condition is an enormously compelling investigative work that addresses the concerns of every American.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900385504545
Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
Publication date: 10/05/2004
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 288
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

Table of Contents

Prologue: The Crisis1
1A Second-Rate System9
Rampant Overcharging15
Without A Safety Net24
A Teacher Learns A Lesson27
Spending More for Less32
Watchdog for the Drug Companies35
Emergency in the Er45
America's Unknown Killer51
Favors and Fraud63
Politics and Profits69
2Wall Street Medicine75
How Profit Became Policy88
Selling the Hospitals94
Corporate Culture99
Buying the Doctors109
Nurses Who Battle the Bottom Line113
3Anatomy of a Systems Failure123
A Bad Business Model128
Doctor C's Empire132
Vanishing Histories145
4The Labyrinth of Care155
The New Bureaucrats158
Overruling the Physicians161
The Wrong Jobs170
The Insurers' Secret Codes172
Long-Distance Diagnosis182
Online and Offshore189
5Madison Avenue Medicine195
Blame it on Bad Breath199
The TV Ad Blitz203
"Ask Your Doctor"210
Risky Business215
The Celebrity Pitch223
Your Next Drugs227
6The Remedy235
Curing the Ills240
Crisis and Opportunity247
Epilogue: Medicine in the Media251

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Critical Condition: How Health Care in America Became Big Business--and Bad Medicine 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
after 35 years of dealing with the issues in CRITICAL CONDITION as a family doc,this is the best synopsis of the flaws in our health delivery system that I have seen. Most remarkable was the brilliant suggestion on how to administer a new national agency outside of the political maze modeled after the federal reserve agency that controls our money supply. Ever since the Rockefeller Foundation studied US healthcare '72-'76 and published HEALTH CARE IN THE UNITED STATES sub-titled 'DOING BETTER - FEELING WORSE' I have been studying the de-evolution of healthcare in America. Cudos to Bartlette & Steele for taking this Goliath on. There are thousands of inteligent, well meaning people out there who recognize the need for universal health care coverage but a rational system of health care will not evolve in a for-profit, greed driven economy. The political aspect of universal coverage remains pivitol for its future existance. It calls for effective political leadership. I agree we have the most expensive healthcare in the world...this does not make it the best health care system if it is not available to all. The fundamental question regarding healthcare is: does it promote or produce Health? Should acces to health care be a universal right protected by the government or should healthcare remain a comodity to be exploited for profit. I seriously thought this book would spark much more heated discussion about national health coverage: but so far the politicos and insurance companies, and medical organizations do not want to admit they would be the loosers if govt. administered (expansion of medicare) health care became a reality. So far greed trumps need who deals next?
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a family physician in favor of a universal single payor system, this book had nothing new. It provides good examples underlying the inherent conflict of interest between providing health care and providing for the stockholders. Unfortunately the book's tone is too sensationalized, like a tabloid, and minimizes the honest efforts of the vast majority of people who work in health care because we feel it is our calling.
Guest More than 1 year ago
An informative and well-written expose of how greed and politics have hijacked our health care system in America. Highly recommended.
Guest More than 1 year ago
'Surviving a Successful Heart Attack' left the author and me with many unanswered questions - 'Critical Condition' gives some valid answers and valuable insight on the real reason that we are prescribed many of the medicines that we take today.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book contains a bounty of research and facts from several sources that show the systematic failure of our 'for profit' healthcare system and how big companies have spent 100's of millions to hide the facts from us. If most people realized we 'truly' enjoy sub-standard health care compared to most wealthy western nations, they would be shocked. A book everyone who cares about the future of American Society should read.