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"An award-winning New York Times reporter Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal reveals the dangerous, expensive, and dysfunctional American healthcare system, and tells us exactly what we can do to solve its myriad of problems. It is well documented that our healthcare system has grave problems, but how, in only a matter of decades, did things get this bad? Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn't just explain the symptoms; she diagnoses and treats the disease itself. Rosenthal spells out in clear and practical terms exactly how to decode medical doublespeak, avoid the pitfalls of the pharmaceuticals racket, and get the care you and your family deserve. She takes you inside the doctor-patient relationship, explaining step by step the workings of a profession sorely lacking transparency. This is about what we can do, as individual patients, both to navigate a byzantine system and also to demand far-reaching reform. Breaking down the monolithic business into its individual industries--the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, drug manufacturers--that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal tells the story of the history of American medicine as never before. The situation is far worse than we think, and it has become like that much more recently than we realize. Hospitals, which are managed by business executives, behave like predatory lenders, hounding patients and seizing their homes. Research charities are in bed with big pharmaceutical companies, which surreptitiously profit from the donations made by working people. Americans are dying from routine medical conditions when affordable and straightforward solutions exist. Dr. Rosenthal explains for the first time how various social and financial incentives have encouraged a disastrous and immoral system to spring uporganicallyin a shockingly short span of time. The system is in tatters, but we can fight back. An American Sicknessis the frontline defense against a healthcare system that no longer has our well-being at heart"--
A New York Times bestseller A Washington Post Notable Book of the Year At a moment of drastic political upheaval, An American Sickness is a shocking investigation into our dysfunctional healthcare system - and offers practical solutions to its myriad problems. In these troubled times, perhaps no institution has unraveled more quickly and more completely than American medicine. In only a few decades, the medical system has been overrun by organizations seeking to exploit for profit the trust that vulnerable and sick Americans place in their healthcare. Our politicians have proven themselves either unwilling or incapable of reining in the increasingly outrageous costs faced by patients, and market-based solutions only seem to funnel larger and larger sums of our money into the hands of corporations. Impossibly high insurance premiums and inexplicably large bills have become facts of life; fatalism has set in. Very quickly Americans have been made to accept paying more for less. How did things get so bad so fast? Breaking down this monolithic business into the individual industries—the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, and drug manufacturers—that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal exposes the recent evolution of American medicine as never before. How did healthcare, the caring endeavor, become healthcare, the highly profitable industry? Hospital systems, which are managed by business executives, behave like predatory lenders, hounding patients and seizing their homes. Research charities are in bed with big pharmaceutical companies, which surreptitiously profit from the donations made by working people. Patients receive bills in code, from entrepreneurial doctors they never even saw. The system is in tatters, but we can fight back. Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal doesn't just explain the symptoms, she diagnoses and treats the disease itself. In clear and practical terms, she spells out exactly how to decode medical doublespeak, avoid the pitfalls of the pharmaceuticals racket, and get the care you and your family deserve. She takes you inside the doctor-patient relationship and to hospital C-suites, explaining step-by-step the workings of a system badly lacking transparency. This is about what we can do, as individual patients, both to navigate the maze that is American healthcare and also to demand far-reaching reform. An American Sickness is the frontline defense against a healthcare system that no longer has our well-being at heart.
Breaking down the monolithic business into its individual industries...the hospitals, doctors, insurance companies, drug manufacturers...that together constitute our healthcare system, Rosenthal tells the story of the history of American medicine as never before. The situation is far worse than we think, and it has become like that much more recently than we realize. Hospitals, which are managed by business executives, behave like predatory lenders, hounding patients and seizing their homes. Research charities are in bed with big pharmaceutical companies, which surreptitiously profit from the donations made by working people. Americans are dying from routine medical conditions when affordable and straightforward solutions exist. Dr. Rosenthal explains for the first time how various social and financial incentives have encouraged a disastrous and immoral system to spring uporganicallyin a shockingly short span of time. The system is in tatters, but we can fight back. .
This book provides an in-depth evaluation of the U.S. health care system's development in the twentieth century. It shows how a unique economic design - the insurance company model - came to dominate health care, bringing with it high costs; corporate medicine; and fragmented, poorly distributed care.
Why is America's health care system so expensive? Why do hospitalized patients receive bills laden with inflated charges that com out of the blue from out-of-network providers or demands for services that weren't delivered? Why do we pay $600 for EpiPens that contain a dollar's worth of medicine? Why is more than $1 trillion - one out of every three dollars that passes through the system - lost to fraud, wasted on services that don't help patients, or otherwise misspent? Overcharged answers these questions. It shows that America's health care system, which replaces consumer choice with government control and third-party payment, is effectively designed to make health care as expensive as possible. Prices will fall, quality will improve, and medicine will become more patient-friendly only when consumers take charge and exert pressure from below. For this to happen, consumers must control the money. As Overcharged explains, when health care providers are subjected to the same competitive forces that shape other industries, they will either deliver better services more cheaply or risk being replaced by someone who will.
The CEO of Athenahealth reflects on his journey from ambulance driver to CEO of one of the nation's fastest-growing tech companies to outline a blueprint for improving the current health-care system through innovation, less regulation and a wider range of customer choices.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • America’s Bitter Pill is Steven Brill’s acclaimed book on how the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, was written, how it is being implemented, and, most important, how it is changing—and failing to change—the rampant abuses in the healthcare industry. It’s a fly-on-the-wall account of the titanic fight to pass a 961-page law aimed at fixing America’s largest, most dysfunctional industry. It’s a penetrating chronicle of how the profiteering that Brill first identified in his trailblazing Time magazine cover story continues, despite Obamacare. And it is the first complete, inside account of how President Obama persevered to push through the law, but then failed to deal with the staff incompetence and turf wars that crippled its implementation. But by chance America’s Bitter Pill ends up being much more—because as Brill was completing this book, he had to undergo urgent open-heart surgery. Thus, this also becomes the story of how one patient who thinks he knows everything about healthcare “policy” rethinks it from a hospital gurney—and combines that insight with his brilliant reporting. The result: a surprising new vision of how we can fix American healthcare so that it stops draining the bank accounts of our families and our businesses, and the federal treasury. Praise for America’s Bitter Pill “A tour de force . . . a comprehensive and suitably furious guide to the political landscape of American healthcare . . . persuasive, shocking.”—The New York Times “An energetic, picaresque, narrative explanation of much of what has happened in the last seven years of health policy . . . [Brill] has pulled off something extraordinary.”—The New York Times Book Review “A thunderous indictment of what Brill refers to as the ‘toxicity of our profiteer-dominated healthcare system.’ ”—Los Angeles Times “A sweeping and spirited new book [that] chronicles the surprisingly juicy tale of reform.”—The Daily Beast “One of the most important books of our time.”—Walter Isaacson “Superb . . . Brill has achieved the seemingly impossible—written an exciting book about the American health system.”—The New York Review of Books From the Hardcover edition.

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