Health Care

The New York Times bestselling author of Being Mortal and Complications reveals the surprising power of the ordinary checklist

We live in a world of great and increasing complexity, where even the most expert professionals struggle to master the tasks they face. Longer training, ever more advanced technologies—neither seems to prevent grievous errors. But in a hopeful turn, acclaimed surgeon and writer Atul Gawande finds a remedy in the humblest and simplest of techniques: the checklist. First introduced decades ago by the U.S. Air Force, checklists have enabled pilots to fly aircraft of mind-boggling sophistication. Now innovative checklists are being adopted in hospitals around the world, helping doctors and nurses respond to everything from flu epidemics to avalanches. Even in the immensely complex world of surgery, a simple ninety-second variant has cut the rate of fatalities by more than a third.

In riveting stories, Gawande takes us from Austria, where an emergency checklist saved a drowning victim who had spent half an hour underwater, to Michigan, where a cleanliness checklist in intensive care units virtually eliminated a type of deadly hospital infection. He explains how checklists actually work to prompt striking and immediate improvements. And he follows the checklist revolution into fields well beyond medicine, from disaster response to investment banking, skyscraper construction, and businesses of all kinds.

An intellectual adventure in which lives are lost and saved and one simple idea makes a tremendous difference, The Checklist Manifesto is essential reading for anyone working to get things right.
New York Times bestseller/Washington Post Notable Book of 2017/NPR Best Books of 2017/Wall Street Journal Best Books of 2017 

"This book will serve as the definitive guide to the past and future of health care in America.”Siddhartha Mukherjee, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Emperor of All Maladies and The Gene  

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.
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK • “A tour de force . . . a comprehensive and suitably furious guide to the political landscape of American healthcare . . . persuasive, shocking.”The New York Times 

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
 
“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
A startling and important exposé on the state of medicine, research, and healthcare today by the Chief Medical and Scientific Officer of the American Cancer Society

How We Do Harm
exposes the underbelly of healthcare today—the overtreatment of the rich, the under treatment of the poor, the financial conflicts of interest that determine the care that physicians' provide, insurance companies that don't demand the best (or even the least expensive) care, and pharmaceutical companies concerned with selling drugs, regardless of whether they improve health or do harm.

Dr. Otis Brawley is the chief medical and scientific officer of The American Cancer Society, an oncologist with a dazzling clinical, research, and policy career. How We Do Harm pulls back the curtain on how medicine is really practiced in America. Brawley tells of doctors who select treatment based on payment they will receive, rather than on demonstrated scientific results; hospitals and pharmaceutical companies that seek out patients to treat even if they are not actually ill (but as long as their insurance will pay); a public primed to swallow the latest pill, no matter the cost; and rising healthcare costs for unnecessary—and often unproven—treatments that we all pay for. Brawley calls for rational healthcare, healthcare drawn from results-based, scientifically justifiable treatments, and not just the peddling of hot new drugs.

Brawley's personal history – from a childhood in the gang-ridden streets of black Detroit, to the green hallways of Grady Memorial Hospital, the largest public hospital in the U.S., to the boardrooms of The American Cancer Society—results in a passionate view of medicine and the politics of illness in America - and a deep understanding of healthcare today. How We Do Harm is his well-reasoned manifesto for change.
The definitive story of American health care today -- its causes, consequences, and confusions.

In March 2010, the Affordable Care Act was signed into law. It was the most extensive reform of America's health care system since at least the creation of Medicare in 1965, and maybe ever. The ACA was controversial and highly political, and the law faced legal challenges reaching all the way to the Supreme Court; it even precipitated a government shutdown. It was a signature piece of legislation for President Obama's first term, and also a ball and chain for his second.

Ezekiel J. Emanuel, a professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania who also served as a special adviser to the White House on health care reform, has written a brilliant diagnostic explanation of why health care in America has become such a divisive social issue, how money and medicine have their own -- quite distinct -- American story, and why reform has bedeviled presidents of the left and right for more than one hundred years.

Emanuel also explains exactly how the ACA reforms are reshaping the health care system now. He forecasts the future, identifying six mega trends in health that will determine the market for health care to 2020 and beyond. His predictions are bold, provocative, and uniquely well-informed. Health care -- one of America's largest employment sectors, with an economy the size of the GDP of France -- has never had a more comprehensive or authoritative interpreter.
"Health care managers, practitioners, and students must both operate as effectively as they can within the daunting and continually evolving system at hand and identify opportunities for reform advances… Health Care Delivery in the United States has been an indispensable companion to those preparing to manage this balance. The present edition demonstrates once again why this volume has come to be so prized. It takes the long view – charting recent developments in health policy, and putting them side-by-side with descriptions and analysis of existing programs in the United States and abroad."

—Sherry Glied, PhD, Dean and Professor of Public Service, NYU Wagner, From the Foreword

This fully updated and revised 11th edition of a highly esteemed survey and analysis of health care delivery in the United States keeps pace with the rapid changes that are reshaping our system. Fundamentally, this new edition presents the realities that impact our nation’s achievement of the so-called Triple Aim: better health and better care at a lower cost. It addresses challenges and responses to the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the implementation of Obamacare, and many new models of care designed to replace outmoded systems. Leading scholars, practitioners, and educators within population health and medical care present the most up-to-date evidence-based information on health disparities, vulnerable populations, and immigrant health; nursing workforce challenges; new information technology; preventive medicine; emerging approaches to control health care costs; and much more.

Designed for graduate and advanced undergraduate students of health care management and administration and public health, the text addresses all of the complex core issues surrounding our health care system in a strikingly readable and accessible format. Contributors provide an in-depth and objective appraisal of why and how we organize health care the way we do, the enormous impact of health-related behaviors on the structure, function, and cost of the health care delivery system, and other emerging and recurrent issues in health policy, health care management, and public health. The 11th edition features the writings of such luminaries as Michael K. Gusmano, Carolyn M. Clancy, Joanne Spetz, Nirav R. Shah, Michael S. Sparer, and Christy Harris Lemak, among others. Chapters include key words, learning objectives and competencies, discussion questions, case studies, and new charts and tables with concrete health care data. Included for instructors is an Instructor’s Manual,
PowerPoint slides, Syllabus, Test Bank, Image Bank, Supplemental e-chapter on the ACA, and a transition guide bridging the 10th and 11th editions.

Key Features:

  • Integration of the ACA throughout the text, including a supplementary e-chapter devoted to this major health care policy innovation
  • The implementation of Obamacare
  • Combines acute and chronic care into organizations of medical care
  • Nursing workforce challenges
  • Health disparities, vulnerable populations, and immigrant health
  • Strategies to achieve the Triple Aim (better health and better care at lower cost)
  • New models of care including accountable care organizations (ACOs), patient homes, health exchanges, and integrated health systems
  • Emerging societal efforts toward creating healthy environments and illness prevention
  • Increasing incentives for efficiency and better quality of care
  • Expanded discussion of information technology
  • A new 5-year trend forecast
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