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Sick and Tired: How America’s Health Care System Fails Its Patients
Helene Jorgensen. PoliPoint (Ingram, dist.), $16.95 paper (224p) ISBN 9780982417119
With this guide to America’s health delivery system, complete with her been-there account of its failures, Jorgensen compiles thorough notes for navigating the foggy environs of health care providers and insurers. In 2003, three years into a six-year bout with Lyme disease, economist Jorgensen (Why Union Workers Deserve Their Pay) began documenting her dispiriting struggle to get treatment (though she was so ill she could barely write a daily entry). Over five years, Jorgensen paid $11,000 out-of-pocked (in addition to an annual $7,500 health insurance premium) seeking a correct diagnosis, but was stymied by human errors, complicated by bureaucratic intractability: because her first doctor had not ordered the right test, proper treatment was delayed eight months; because her disease lingered beyond the four week standard set by the Infectious Diseases Society of America, she had to find new doctors. (Jorgensen’s insurance paid $180,000, a fact that does not go unexplored.) Through her experience, Jorgensen has developed a practical and gripping guidebook to getting sick in America, organized usefully by the practitioners involved: insurers, doctors, hospitals, labs, drug-makers, and disease experts. Jorgensen concludes with a thoughtful chapter on reform, in which she looks to the Veterans Health Administration as a model of wise remuneration. (Publishers Weekly 2/10) Title Summary
A well-written, informative take on the Lyme disease epidemic, and American health care, by a professional economist. Read morePublished on January 26, 2011 by Allseasons