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Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care is Better Than Yours Paperback – January 1, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 159 pages
  • Publisher: Polipoint Press (January 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0977825302
  • ISBN-13: 978-0977825301
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.5 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,547,483 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

When that happens you will see how much better it is.
Skynet2029
The Point I like the most is the need to make this wonderful system available to more of the population because the private sector will not match this.
Roy O. Mathew
Longman proposes a reform of the U.S. healthcare system that incorporates the best of VistA and many other VA best practices and innovations.
Rick Rumford

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Rick Rumford on May 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
Philip Longman makes the case that current U.S. healthcare is a fragmented, market driven system that lags behind much of the industrialized world in both quality and access of healthcare. According to Longman, the problem with our healthcare system is that it isn't really a system and that it doesn't reward the one thing that it should - health improvement. In fact, he offers proof that in the U.S. doctors and hospitals are rewarded for providing treatment, but not necessarily providing health to their patients. To illustrate this, he offers examples from two of the nation's premier hospitals - Beth Israel and Duke Medical Center. Both initiated programs that were so successful at improving health that they became unprofitable and were ultimately terminated.

This book is filled with understandable, but often shocking statistics. For example, every year in the United States 98,000 people die due to medical errors while in the hospital, another 90,000 die due to infections that they get while in the hospital, and 126,000 needlessly die because their doctor failed to use evidence-based protocols for just four of the most common conditions.

The solution? Longman speaks effusively about the VA healthcare system. And rightfully so. It is the only fully functioning, evidence-based healthcare system in the country. The book explores the history of the VA and speaks honestly about some of the warts that mar the VA's reputation. But the truth of the matter is that the VA has turned all of that around and is currently at the front of the healthcare revolution.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Loyd E. Eskildson HALL OF FAME on August 10, 2009
Format: Paperback
"Best Care Anywhere's" Longman was charged by "Fortune" magazine with finding the best examples of U.S. health care management. When Longman asked experts for suggestions on where to look, he couldn't believe what he kept hearing - look at the government-run Veterans Administration system, the largest integrated health care system in the U.S. (1,556 locations). This contradicted all he thought he knew about economics and government, yet was consistently backed up by prestigious and unbiased studies. In 2003 the New England Journal of Medicine published a study comparing V.A. facilities with fee-for-service Medicare on 11 measures of quality - the V.A. proved better on all. In 2004 the Annals of Internal Medicine compared the V.A. with commercial systems in care of diabetes - the V.A. provided better care in all 7 measures. Similarly, A RAND study found the V.A. outperformed other sectors in all 294 measures. The National Commission for Quality Assurance also found the V.A. outperformed the highest-rated non-V.A. hospitals. And for 6 consecutive years the V.A. received the highest consumer satisfaction ratings of any health care system.

What about costs - surely a government-run operation would be much more expensive. Actually, the V.A.'s average expenditure/patient in 2004 was $5,562, vs. a national average $6,280 - including those who never saw a doctor during the year. Further, the V.A.'s patient population was older (half over age 65), more diabetic (one in five has diabetes, compared with one in fourteen in the general population), and greater incidences of most all chronic diseases.

How does the V.A. do it? Five keys: 1)Most of its doctors have faculty appointments with academic hospitals.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peter J. Groen on May 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
This was a truly interesting book that is a 'must read' for those who are looking for alternative national solutions to our healthcare situation. Another related book of interest is "Medical Informatics 20/20" available on Amazon

Medical Informatics 20/20: Quality And Electronic Health Records Through Collaboration, Open Solutions, And Innovation
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Concerned on November 10, 2007
Format: Paperback
Best Care Anywhere is well-researched and well-written. It clearly shows us why our health care "system" is costly and sometimes dangerous, and it gives some great ideas about how it can be fixed.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Jeffrey C. Davis on June 15, 2008
Format: Paperback
This book should be mandatory reading for every member of the U. S. Congress! All heads of the major media network news departments should also read it.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By ejp on July 29, 2007
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed reading this excellent summary of the changes that have taken place at the VA hospitals and how their successes might be duplicated in the private sector. Overall an illuminating portrait of a system that went from barely adequate to outstanding and how integration of medical informatics and dedication to preventive medicine made it happen.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Richard T. Wangler on May 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
I've been treated twice in VA hospitals for kidney stones - both requiring surgery. The doctors were with one exception first rate, and the staff of the intensive care unit were outstanding. However, treatment on the floor was far different. For example, a patient who was bedridden requested a portable facility so he could eliminate. After assisting him. the attendant left the device in the room (all four beds were occupied), and the stench was overpowering. I called to have it removed (I was unable to get out of bed at the time, otherwise I would have moved it into the hall), and was told that the person responsible for the portable facilities was temporarily unavailable. It, and the odor remained for several hours.

I recently filed a claim for hearing loss and tinnitus, something I should have done long ago. I revceived 4 letters within the past two days - one advising me that an appointment would be scheduled, one informing me that I had an appointment scheduled, one telling me that they could not locate (read lost) my medical records and one advising me that the VA has requested medical records from a civillian treatment center for which I previously gave the VA authorization to obtain. If an organization cannot include the above information in a single letter, I fail to see how it could be considered a paragon of efficiency.

There are many working in VA hospitals who do a commendable job, but the instances of incompetence, gross ineffeciency and lack of courtesy and respect displayed toward patients warrants a thumbs down from me toward the organization as a whole. Our veterans deserve better - much better.
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