Ironically, some of the information pointed out in Dr. Rosenthal's book are stories I have been telling my patients for years. It is not about how to stay healthy or how to stay out of the medical system. This book is about the business of American medicine. It is intended to give the layman understanding of the financial aspects of our medical system and what an individual can do in self defense. Dr. Rosenthal also provides ideas of what people should demand from their senators and representatives. No one in Washington (of either party), seems to be working for the public. They are working for the many big financial players in a 3 trillion dollars a year business that makes up nearly 20% of the entire U.S. economy.
Dr. Rosenthal discusses why Americans pay so much more for their medical care than it costs in any other developed country. It is meticulous in its history about where we were years ago and how we arrived at the current state of affairs.
The book also includes the development of American health insurance companies, why insurance is so costly, and why it is beneficial to insurance company profits for medical costs to go up and up, but not down.
Also discussed is the growth of the pharmaceutical industry and legislation that has led to huge increases in the cost of medications. Dr. Rosenthal points out why our prices are so much higher than anywhere else on the planet. She also discusses why drug advertising was only relatively recently permitted in the U.S. Only the U.S. and New Zealand permit pharmaceutical ads to the public.
Hospital costs and billing practices are examined and why hospital bills are so incomprehensible and how they became so high.
Other topics cover what drives some physicians to choose medical procedures and practices that maximize their income and patient’s costs. Even the location of where procedures are performed can have huge effects on pricing!
She also discusses the pharmacy business and how they increase drug costs for the patients. Rarely do Americans shop for medications like they would for many other products.
Most importantly, Dr. Rosenthal gives instructions and reference materials for patients to help get control of their own medical costs.
I am not sure that Dr. Rosenthal understands deeply the flaws in the medical education system and how doctors are being taught to treat patients. She does not discuss how the professors of medicine are now tied in deeply with the pharmaceutical and equipment industries. Still, this book is very well documented and would be an eye opener, not only for most lay people but even for most medical professionals.
I highly recommend it.