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Understanding Health Policy [Paperback]

Thomas S. Bodenheimer , Kevin Grumbach
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)

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There is a newer edition of this item:
Understanding Health Policy, Sixth Edition Understanding Health Policy, Sixth Edition 4.6 out of 5 stars (34)
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Book Description

December 1, 2004 0071423117 978-0071423113 4

"This highly readable text gives a broad but detailed picture of how health care is organized and dispensed in the United States." -Annals of Internal Medicine, on the First Edition

The #1 text on health policy, this well-known book provides a short introduction to U.S. health care policy by two leading experts who are themselves practicing physicians. The Fourth Edition features the latest information on cost containment, health insurance, managed care, hospital payment, and the new two-tier model of physician reimbursement.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This highly readable text gives a broad but detailed picture of how health care is organized and dispensed in the United States. It considers the problems of, and possible solutions for, cost control, long-term care, quality control, ethical issues, and insurance programs. Clinicians are likely to find the text attractive because of its supportive flowcharts and its frequent use of specific, concrete examples."
Annals of Internal Medicine *
"Well documented and highly readable."
National Organization of Nurse Practitioner Facilities Newsletter *

"One of the more interesting, readable texts in health policy to appear in recent years."
American Journal of Health System Pharmacy *

"The title doesn't do the book justice. It's not only about health care policy and its implications, it's about the health care system, applied to highly clinically relevant situations . . . it provides an unobstructed view of the complicated health care system."

"Goes a long way toward helping readers understand how the health care system worked in the past, how it is changing, and how it might work under different scenarios in the future."
Journal of Health Politics, Policy and Law *

The leading text in the field, Understanding Health Policy covers fundamental topics such as cost containment, health insurance, managed care, and physician and hospital payment. The authors bring to life important policy issues by providing extensive case histories that pinpoint individual encounters within the health care system.

* Updated throughout to reflect recent changes in insurance coverage, health care expenditures, and health care organization
* Expanded to include discussion of the defined contribution approach to cost control, medical errors, and new approaches to quality improvement and the uncertain future facing managed care
* Extensive case histories
* Brand new chapter on the Health Care Work Force, including sections on physicians, registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, and pharmacists and on women and minorities in the health professions
* Includes "Questions and Discussion Topics" for classroom or individual study

*Of earlier edition

About the Author

Thomas S. Bodenheimer, MD, MPH, University of California, San Francisco Kevin Grumbach, MD, University of California, San Francisco

Product Details

  • Series: Understanding Health Policy
  • Paperback: 388 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Medical; 4 edition (December 1, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071423117
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071423113
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7.3 x 0.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #942,789 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Difficult to find a better overview for students 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
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Health Policy January 9, 2007
By bhean
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Must Know Knowledge For MD's To Be July 14, 2004
By A Customer
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding overview of healthcare system in USA July 5, 2007
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Text June 28, 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
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
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read 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
4.0 out of 5 stars A little too focused on clinicians 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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Health Policy 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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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Good
I had to use this book for my class, and I enjoyed reading it. It is easy to comprehend and it gives you an overall view of health care.
Published 1 month ago by Jas
4.0 out of 5 stars very good
good and interisting, I use them very good.I will contnue to buy many many thing from amazon. For last a couple years, I had bounght a lot of stuff from there, I fill very... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Wenjin Li
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book on health policy
I refer to it all of the time. Probably the best introduction to U.S. health policy there is. I have the 5th edition, but you should get the 6th edition as it has updates from the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Book Nick
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy to read textbook.
I loved having the electronic version for class. It was easy to read and much less expensive than buying the print version.
Published 8 months ago by Chelsea
5.0 out of 5 stars Get a used book only in 5 bucks
I am considering being a med student anyway and someone told me this is a good book for the interview, though I havent read yet.
Published 15 months ago by Alwayalway
1.0 out of 5 stars Understanding Health Policy
Hated this book. Needed it for a class, boring book to me but maybe someone else can enjoy it. Would not have bought this unless I had to
Published 16 months ago by Ann-Marie FitzPatrick
5.0 out of 5 stars good book
needed the book for class. have only read about half of it. it is an easy read and is very informational. straight to the point. will be keeping it for references in the future
Published 24 months ago by mookshake
5.0 out of 5 stars The best healthcare book!
I m new to the healthcare insurance industry and I was looking for a book which would explain the complexities of the health care system from the basics. Read more
Published on January 4, 2012 by HealthcareAnalyst
5.0 out of 5 stars Good book
This is a good book for a more basic overview of the healthcare system. This was required for one of my classes at medical school and has been great for that.
Published on October 31, 2011 by Ms K
5.0 out of 5 stars Great condition
This book came in great condition as was described on the description of the Amazon page. The book also arrived when expected.
Published on September 9, 2011 by Aaron De Leon
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