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Who Killed Health Care?: America's $2 Trillion Medical Problem - and the Consumer-Driven Cure [Hardcover]

Regina Herzlinger
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1, 2007 0071487808 978-0071487801 1

In the battle for U.S. health care, patients and doctors are losing.

Who Killed Health Care? shows how to win the war.

One of the nation's most respected health care analysts, Regina Herzlinger exposes the motives and methods of those who have crippled America's health care system-figures in the insurance, hospital, employment, governmental, and academic sectors. She proves how our current system, which is organized around payers and providers rather than the needs of its users, is dangerously eroding patient welfare and is pushing costs out of the reach of millions.

Who Killed Health Care? then outlines Herzlinger's bold new plan for a consumer-driven system that will deliver affordable, high-quality care to everyone. By putting insurance money in the hands of patients, removing the middleman in the doctor-patient relationship, and giving employers cost relief, consumers and physicians will be empowered to make the system work the way it should. Herzlinger describes in precise detail how her innovative program will provide

  • Smaller, disease-focused medical facilities that provide complete care for patients
  • A national system of medical records that provides privacy with confidential access by approved practitioners
  • Mandatory performance evaluations of all hospitals and all other medical organizations
  • Mandatory health insurance with subsidies for those who cannot afford it

Who Killed Health Care? is a call to arms that must be answered; the welfare of every American hangs in the balance.

“A brilliant analysis… A must-read.” – Bill George, Professor, Harvard Business School and Former CEO of Medtronic

“As it becomes more and more obvious to everyone that our current health care system is unsustainable, this is the book that had to be written.” – Daniel H. Johnson, Jr. MD, former president of the American Medical Association

“Regina Herzlinger’s ideas to tackle the crisis of the U.S. health care system are based on keen knowledge of the system’s existing difficulties along with insights that introduce the reader to new streamlined choices that have the potential of getting both quantity and cost under control.” – Joseph Kennedy, founder, chairman, and president, Citizens Energy Corporation, CEO, Citizens Health Care, former representative (D-Mass)

“Regina Herzlinger… offers a vision of the way things can be, should be, and will be sooner or later. The only question is: how long do we have to wait?” – Greg Scandlen, founder, Consumers for Health Choices

“Regi Herzlinger has brilliantly articulated a better way – embracing the principles of competition and innovation that cause every other sector of our economy to thrive. Discharging American health care from the ICU can only happen by putting individual Americans – not politicians and bureaucrats – back in charge of their health care decisioins.” – U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla), M.D.

“Following on the heels of her landmark Market-Driven Health Care, Herzlinger lays it on the line with her expose of what many who work in the health care industry have felt in their gut. Now it is articulated in an entertaining and must-read portrayal, with you and me as the only way out.” – Dennis White, executive vice president for strategic development, National Business Coalition on Health

“A wonderful Orwellian romp through issues which carry a deadly irony. The killers of health care are, of course, the third parties, each of which has an itchy palm and a commitment to profit or power which exceeds the commitment to service, with each engaging the others within a politically shaped box. Rarely has the case for the public been made with so much force, foresight, and wit, and a better way forward shown so clearly.” – James F. Fries, MD, Professor of Medicine, Stanford University School of Medicine

“You can practically hear the war chants as Professor Herzlinger sets out her view of what’s wrong with the health care system and how to fix it. You’d best read it so you can decide which side you will be on when the battle is joined.” – Paul Levy, CEO, Beth Israel Hospital, Boston, MA

“Regina Herzlinger, the nation’s leading expert on consumer-driven health care, has given us a brilliant analysis of the flaws in our health care system and what it will take to get it back on track. Her latest book is a must-read.” – Bill George, Professor of Management Practice, Harvard Business School, Former CEO, Medtronic, and author of Authentic Leadership

“You don’t have to agree with her diagnosis and prescription for the U.S. health care system, but you do have to read her book. Once again, Professor Herzlinger has put together a well researched, well written, and very provocative blueprint for the future of health care.” Peter L. Slavin, MD, President, Massachusetts General Hospital


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Who Killed Health Care?: America's $2 Trillion Medical Problem - and the Consumer-Driven Cure + The Innovator's Prescription: A Disruptive Solution for Health Care + Redefining Health Care: Creating Value-Based Competition on Results
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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Mrs Herzlinger is America's leading advocate of market-driven, consumer-orientated health reform. She wants a national system which requires individuals to buy health insurance, with help in the form of tax breaks for all punters, and subsidies for the poorest. She wants insurance prices to be risk-adjusted and hospitals to be free to charge what they like so they can offer new services as the market demands. Most importantly, she wants the government to demand transparency of price and quality from this notoriously murky industry.”-The Economist

(The Economist 2007-07-05)

From the Back Cover

Doctors. Parents. Citizens. Employers.

They're all ready for the cure to America's health care crisis:

WHO KILLED HEALTH CARE?

“ A brilliant analysis…a must read.”-Bill George, Professor, Harvard Business School and former CEO of Medtronic

“As it becomes more and more obvious to everyone that our current health care system is unsustainable, this is the book that had to be written.”-Daniel H. Johnson, Jr., MD, former president of the American Medical Association

“Regina Herzlinger's ideas to tackle the crisis of the U.S. health care system are based on a keen knowledge of the system's existing difficulties along with insights that introduce the reader to new streamlined choices that have the potential of getting both quality and cost under control.”-Joseph Kennedy, founder, chairman, and president, Citizens Energy Corporation, CEO, Citizens Health Care, former representative (D-Mass)

“Regina Herzlinger...offers a vision of the way things can be, should be, and will be sooner or later. The only question is: how long do we have to wait?”-Greg Scandlen, founder, Consumers for Health Choices

“Regi Herzlinger has brilliantly articulated a better way-embracing the principles of competition and innovation that cause every other sector of our economy to thrive.”-U.S. Senator Tom Coburn (R-Okla), MD

“Following on the heels of her landmark Market-Driven Health Care, Herzlinger lays it on the line with her exposé of what many who work in the health care industry have felt in their gut. Now it is articulated in an entertaining and must-read portrayal, with you and me as the only way out.”-Dennis White, executive vice president for strategic development, National Business Coalition on Health


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 240 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1 edition (June 1, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071487808
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071487801
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 7.1 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #411,085 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Regina E. Herzlinger is the Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration Chair at the Harvard Business School. She was the first woman to be tenured and chaired at Harvard Business School and the first to serve on a number of corporate boards. She is widely recognized for her innovative research in health care, including her early predictions of the unraveling of managed care and the rise of consumer-driven health care and health care focused factories, two terms that she coined. Money has dubbed her the "Godmother" of consumer-driven health care.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
53 of 55 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
According to information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on June 24, 2007, about 43.6 million people in the United States, or 14.8 percent of the population, had no health insurance in 2006. The finding, based on a survey of 100,000 people, is lower than previous federal estimates of 46 million. The estimate is based on those who did not have insurance at the time of the interview. About 54.5 million people in the country, or 18.6 percent of the population, had no insurance for at least part of 2006. Whatever the exact numbers, there is obviously a very serious problem with health care provision in the U.S. In fact, dozens.

In her previously published book, Consumer-Driven Health Care, Regina Herzlinger explains that consumer-driven health care is "fundamentally about empowering health care consumers - all of us - with control, choice, and information." Such control will "reward innovative insurers and providers for creating the higher-quality, lower-cost services we want and deserve." What would be the role of government? She asserts that "government will protect us with financial assistance and oversight, not micromanagement." The material in this substantial volume is organized within five Parts. Herzlinger wrote the first, "Why We Need Consumer-Driven Health Care," then edited the contributions by others that comprise Parts Two-Five. She also wrote Chapter 78, "A Health Care SEC: The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth." For most of us who are not health care professionals, this volume provides about as much information as we could possibly need, much less process. I especially appreciate the fact that Herzlinger and her associate contributors make a conscious effort to avoid jargon, vague theories, oblique hypotheses, etc.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Good Proposal! June 11, 2007
Format:Hardcover
Herzlinger begins by telling us that she was spurred to write this book after a tax exempt hospital chain (Sioux Valley Hospitals and Health Systems) testified before Congress of the "need" to limit competition from specialty hospitals - "would undermine it's ability to provide care to the uninsured." Unfortunately, the effort was successful in achieving a moratorium, even though the system only provided $5 million (at overstated prices) prior to the moratorium, and then cut that to $3 million afterwards. (A 2004 congressional comparison of non-profits and for-profits concluded that non-profits, on average, provided only 0.6% greater uncompensated care.)

Since 2000, health insurance premiums have risen 73%, vs. inflation and wages increasing 15%. Herzlinger blames:

1) hospital consolidations (# dropped 20% from 1970-2005) - usually without cost rationalization of duplicated costs, aimed simply at reducing the number of competitors. In addition, hospitals have attempted to further reduce competition by buying physician practices.

2)Bureaucratic HMOs and insurance companies, along with their high-priced CEOs.

3)Government: States sometimes limit the number of insurers and the variation in their offerings; meanwhile, the federal government meddles by providing incentives for certain treatment modes

Herzlinger's Recommendations:

1)Provide tax-free grants, adjusted to reflect an individuals' health status (eg. a 55-year-old male with diabetes would be given the average cost of treating such an individual). The individual would be free to save whatever was not spent - would not need to be spent in that year, though could only be spent on health care.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Who Killed Health Care November 16, 2008
Format:Hardcover
Twenty years ago on a cold November night, I was one of two nurses called into the operating room were the team preformed a c-section and delivered a healthy baby boy. While waiting for the mother to recover, I picked up a copy of JAMA in the doctors lounge, there I found an article authored by some PHD entitled: Stop the Charade. It was the authors contention if we made all the non-profit charter hospitals in the country for profit the government would save enough money (eliminating the tax subsidies) to buy every American health care insurance.
Twenty years later author Regina Herzlinger MD PHD echoes this same strategy combined with other comprehensive solutions for curing the health care debacle infecting our nation. In her book: Who Killed Health Care. Dr Herzlinger identifies the culpable players who have brought havoc upon us; government bureaucrats that exorcise legislative powers to manipulate markets, technocrats who employ statistics to homogenize variables into one size fits all diagnoses, and industry lobbyists, special interest peddlers who know how to oil the system with campaign contributions.
Dr. Herzlinger provides a compelling argument in favor of consumer driven health care. She has cut through the complexity of this out of control industry identifying the problems and offering competent solutions to put healthcare back in the hands of consumers, physicians and health care professionals.
Meet Jack Morgan and follow his tragic demise. Learn how our bloated bureaucratic health care system failed him, and how his needless death could have been avoided. Learn how consumer driven health care could have enhanced his quality of life and saved him. Dr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Touches reality of the downfall of healthcare in America
Not provided in an easy enough flow of information to maintain most people's attention in its entirety, but hits the center of the target of where the actual downfall of healthcare... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Callie Marie Judd
1.0 out of 5 stars Opinionated but out of touch
In typical format, those who take a bold stance will get viewership/readership. This book reads more like an editorial from Fox News than a Harvard professor urging for healthcare... Read more
Published 17 months ago by AvidHealthCareReaderMBA
1.0 out of 5 stars Not analysis but anecdotal reasoning
This book is a poorly written rant by a very opinionated author who (repetitively) draws upon anecdotal evidence and stories of scandalous episodes to make whatever point she is... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Cognitive Scientist
4.0 out of 5 stars everything came in decent time and in good shape
this product came on time and in good condition I have no complaints. ok so that is just about it I don't like a requirement of words on a small transaction such as this
Published on November 26, 2011 by rws
1.0 out of 5 stars Interesting idea - poorly executed
At the core of this book is a interesting idea. Imagine that you could buy health insurance like you do car insurance. Read more
Published on March 13, 2011 by D. Colton
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it and weep
This book offers both a diagnosis and a potential cure for the problem of American health care. One might quibble about the proffered cure -- making health insurance more nearly... Read more
Published on January 20, 2011 by George Hand
5.0 out of 5 stars Too Bad Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid didn't read this book!
This consumer driven approach is so sensible and not dependent upon the creation of an overwhelming, ever enlarging bureaucracy, to sustain health care. Read more
Published on April 14, 2010 by Pip
3.0 out of 5 stars A scathing critique
Per the jacket flap, Professor Herzlinger (Harvard Business School) "has sat on the boards of directors of dozens of nonprofit and business health care organizations and has been a... Read more
Published on October 21, 2009 by William Whipple III
5.0 out of 5 stars Good overall perspective on the US HC
Not much to add to other reviews on this page. Very interesting and actually common sense perspective on the topic, too bad it's dismissed a priori by so many smart people.
Published on September 28, 2009 by V. Popescu
4.0 out of 5 stars One angle on how the US Health Care system can be reformed...One of...
One of the major problems facing America right now is the health care system as it currently exists. Read more
Published on August 8, 2009 by Thomas Duff
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