The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System

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9780615650937: The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System

The American health care system is vast, complex and confusing. Books about it shouldn't be. The Health Care Handbook is your one-stop guide to the people, organizations and industries that make up the U.S. health care system and major issues the system faces today. The Handbook covers:
*Inpatient and outpatient health care and delivery systems
*The different types of health insurance and how they're structured
*Health policy and government health care programs, including the Affordable Care Act
*Concise summaries of 31 different health professions
*Economic concepts and the factors that make health care so expensive
*The Pharmaceutical and Medical Device industries

Each section introduces the key facts and foundations that make the health care system work in a clear and neutral manner. The book also includes balanced analyses of current challenges and controversies in health care, including medical errors, government regulation, medical malpractice, high drug prices, and much more. Suggested Readings are included at the end of each chapter for readers who wish to learn more about specific topics.

The book is the work of two medical students, Elisabeth Askin and Nathan Moore. When Elisabeth and Nathan worked to educate themselves about the American health care system they couldn't find a source that was comprehensive, understandable and non-biased - so they decided to write it themselves. It's rigorously researched and scrupulously unbiased yet written in a conversational and humorous tone that's a pleasure to read and illuminates the convoluted health care system and its many components.

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Review:

"This wonderful book by and for students is exactly what it claims to be - a clear and concise guide to the incredibly complex health system we have in the United States. It is chock full of important knowledge; and it is engagingly written. Although the authors invite readers not to read straight through, it is hard to put it down." --Stephen C. Schoenbaum, MD, MPH, Special Advisor to the President, The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

"Medical students Askin and Moore have partnered to write an extremely easy-to-understand book that explains the U.S. health-care system. The book succeeds in making sense of health care without opinion, bias, or dense textbook language. Divided into five chapters, the book contains a wealth of information that will leave health-care professionals, students, and patients well educated about a system that usually leaves everyone confused." --Booklist

"[G]iven their evenhanded and highly organized prose, it's hard not to put their book in the same revered category as a medical textbook or dictionary. In a mere 175 pages, and with an impressive roster of references and well-placed graphics, "The Health Care Handbook" illuminates the maddeningly opaque terms, acronyms, organizations, personages and policies that abound in health care. The authors do so not by expounding on the minutiae, but by jettisoning the jargon and gobbledygook and presenting only the core ideas." - Pauline Chen, M.D., The New York Times

"I think The Health Care Handbook is amazing, really perfect in so many ways.  As an overview it is very thorough, and equally valuable, very well written and accessible.  The information in this book provides a solid understanding of the health care system, how it functions and the role of professionals in it.  As such, any school training physicians and allied health professionals would be well advised to consider this as required reading." - Kathy Dolan, Ph.D.
University of North Texas Health Science Center / Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

From Booklist:

*Starred Review* Medical students Askin and Moore have partnered to write an extremely easy-to-understand book that explains the U.S. health-care system. The book succeeds in making sense of health care without opinion, bias, or dense textbook language. Divided into five chapters, the book contains a wealth of information that will leave health-care professionals, students, and patients well educated about a system that usually leaves everyone confused. “Health Care Systems and Delivery” covers the different kinds of hospitals (public, private, for-profit, and physician-owned) as well as networks and outpatient care. “Health Care Providers” explains the titles of various health-care workers, from doctor to nurse-practitioner to medical transcriptionist, and includes licensing, certification, and education requirements for each profession. “Insurance and Economics” covers the various types of medical insurance in detail and breaks down the economic concepts of health care, including administrative overhead, behavioral economics, chronic care, government regulations, and overtreatment. “Research, Pharmaceuticals, and Medical Devices” explains the costs of prescriptions, what qualifies as a generic drug, and evidence-based medicine. “Policy and Reform” includes a large section on the Affordable Care Act that is thorough and dispassionate in its explanation—a refreshing change from many books on the topic. Packed with easy-to-use tables, graphs, and charts, this inexpensive book is a must-have for anyone who wants a basic understanding of the U.S. health-care system. Highly recommended for all medical, public, and academic libraries. --Steve Stratton

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Elisabeth Askin; Nathan Moore
Published by Washington University in St Louis (2012)
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Elisabeth Askin, Nathan Moore
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