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.
|Publisher:||The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group|
|Edition description:||New Edition|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)|
Table of Contents
|Prologue: The Crisis||1|
|1||A Second-Rate System||9|
|Without A Safety Net||24|
|A Teacher Learns A Lesson||27|
|Spending More for Less||32|
|Watchdog for the Drug Companies||35|
|Emergency in the Er||45|
|America's Unknown Killer||51|
|Favors and Fraud||63|
|Politics and Profits||69|
|2||Wall Street Medicine||75|
|How Profit Became Policy||88|
|Selling the Hospitals||94|
|Buying the Doctors||109|
|Nurses Who Battle the Bottom Line||113|
|3||Anatomy of a Systems Failure||123|
|A Bad Business Model||128|
|Doctor C's Empire||132|
|4||The Labyrinth of Care||155|
|The New Bureaucrats||158|
|Overruling the Physicians||161|
|The Wrong Jobs||170|
|The Insurers' Secret Codes||172|
|Online and Offshore||189|
|5||Madison Avenue Medicine||195|
|Blame it on Bad Breath||199|
|The TV Ad Blitz||203|
|"Ask Your Doctor"||210|
|The Celebrity Pitch||223|
|Your Next Drugs||227|
|Curing the Ills||240|
|Crisis and Opportunity||247|
|Epilogue: Medicine in the Media||251|
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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?
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.
An informative and well-written expose of how greed and politics have hijacked our health care system in America. Highly recommended.
'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.
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.