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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 13, 2001
I used this book in undergraduate health policy programs and in one health care administration graduate elective. The majority of students found it to be a useful introduction to the difficult area of health policy. By incorporating pertinent examples and graphs students found the text more understandable and useful than say other required readings like Paul Starr's classic. Whatever their level of understanding coming into class, students were able to glean valuable information and insight.
My reservation is similar to many books, e.g., by the time of publication much has changed. However, there is relevant material and with supplements this will remain a valuable resource.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on January 9, 2007
This book is a great basic review of how health care is delivered. The format and information is most useful for people who are going into medicine. There isn't really anything about the politics behind health care policy; instead the book focuses on defining key terms and outlining the structure of relationships between payers, receivers, and providers. The book also covers the differences between different types of insurance policies, as well as different national health plans of countries with more socialized medicine.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on July 14, 2004
This book was a requirment for my medical school curriculum. Once I started reading this book, I couldn't put it down. I've never read any other books on health policy, so I don't have anything to compare it to, but I thought it was an excellent books. It is very well written, very easy to understand and extremely informative. I believe anyone interested in health care, medicine, etc. should obtain the knowledge in this book and what better source than "Understanding Health Policy".
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on July 5, 2007
This is probably the best single text I have read on healthcare policy issues in the USA. The books addresses every relevant aspect of our system. Unlike other excellent books, such as Dr. Arnold Relman's book, A Second Opinion, which analyzes the system, then makes recommendations on how to reform it, the authors here mainly explicate. The format of the book includes brief, usually fictitious, vignettes about physicians, patients or administrators that illustrate the points the authors present. That format - combined with the simply-presented, clear narrative and analysis - works very well. I also find the references to be excellent. Aside from Dr. Relman's book, I recommend any of the books by Prof. Victor Fuchs, in particular Who Shall Live?, books by Prof. Theodore Marmor and the classic by Prof. Paul Starr, The Social Transformation of American Medicine. There are many other excellent books and articles by a wide range of insightful analysts. These kinds of books are invaluable for understanding the issues in healthcare. So much of the information that filters through to the average person via news reports, propaganda issued by parties with vested interests to protect and superficial proposals from polticians is inaccurate and misleading, usually grossly so. Reading a book such as this goes a very long way towards cutting through that clutter regardless of one's personal experiences and prejudices.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 28, 2009
I teach healthcare policy and am currently using this text. It does a great job covering the important issues. It's quite readable, as a new edition very topical and, through the use of vignettes, humanizes the consequences of policy decisions. It also has questions keyed to each chapter for assignment use. It is not an academic text and I am supplementing with articles (many of which can be found in the excellent references section following the chapters) as well as articles from news sources. Recommend highly.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 15, 2007
I got this book for a graduate class that I am taking. This book uses clear language when presenting the material and has many mini "case studies" for examples, which makes it easy to read. Though I am required to read this book, it is not the standard, wall-of-text, that I am use to reading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2005
I needed a book to use for a class I am teaching. This book, while excellent was focused on the clinicians' point of view, somewhat to the exclusion of other angles.

If I were teaching doctors and nurses, I would DEFINITELY use this book.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on April 18, 2004
I read this book when I was transitioning from undergrad to PA school. It turned out to be a great move. From what I've seen so far, health policy is a very relevant topic with both the school of medicine and PA school. And why wouldn't it be?!
The only drawback with this book is that it has way too many vignettes. They're very real, but after awhile, I just skimmed over them.
If you're beginning your professional studies, I also recommend picking up a medical terminology, anatomy, and pathophysiology book. Good luck to ya!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on July 19, 2006
This book is very well written. Though it crams a lot of information into a small number of pages, it is easy to understand. It is excellent at covering all angles of a topic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 9, 2011
I needed this book for an online class. Shipping was super fast. The book is easy to read and the instructor for the class really uses the book. For those of you not in the medical field, this book is still fairly easy to understand most of the medical terms. Happy reading!
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