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Customer Review

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Balanced, unflinching examination of the health care system., January 11, 1998
This review is from: Health Against Wealth: HMOs and the Breakdown of Medical Trust (Hardcover)
As a journalist, not a health service provider, Mr. Anders brings credibility to his examination of our current health care system. His matter-of-fact style and even-handed presentation of the abuses of the traditional, fee for service model, the positive strengths of managed care, and the responsibility of the consumer in building a workable system further enhance his credibility. In this broad review of health care, Mr. Anders points out that the initial goal of managed care was to secure high quality, affordable, efficient health care by making sure patients received the right treatment by the right provider at the right time. He credits HMO's with redirecting medical priorities to preventive care away from costly, late-stage care. Mr. Anders discusses how the well-intended but inappropriate application of traditional business practices accidently created powerful loopholes and incentives for abuse, in part, because consumers and purchasers were naive about the great potential for unethical profiteering by managed care. The organization of the book makes the complicated issues in health care more understandable. Complex issues are discussed in separate chapters organized by topic areas such as emergency care, medicare and mental health care. Mr. Anders combines factual technical information with evocative personal testimonies from patients, providers, managed care executives and others. Mr. Anders' bottom line is that truly sick, vulnerable or atypical patients are poorly served by for-profit managed care. While Mr. Anders mainly focuses on the dark side of managed care, a great strength of the book is that he does not leave the reader feeling hopelesss or overwhelmed. In his final two chapters, he addresses quality and gives specific suggestions for building a balanced, better system. This easy read is an indispensible resource for those interested in promoting a health care system characterized by compassion, competence, and cost-effectiveness.
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Location: Houston, TX

Top Reviewer Ranking: 39,626,584