Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorDavid H.MorseMS, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media
by Margaret A. Mahony, 363 pp, $26, ISBN 1-885003-35-8, San Francisco, Calif, Robert D Reed Publishers, 2000.
Saving the Soul of Medicine chronicles in short essays and anecdotes the widespread confusion, work duplication, frustrations, and general disenchantment with the current managed care system. The author, Margaret A. Mahony, MD, is an obstetrician-gynecologist practicing in the San Jose, Calif, area.
The anecdotes depict the impact of managed care from the perspectives of patients, hospital employees, office personnel, and physicians. For most physician readers, the descriptions of frustrations related to obtaining approval for referrals, authorizations for hospital admissions, ever-changing formularies, and understaffed hospitals will not cover much new ground. Readers not working in health care may gain some understanding of the wasted time and menial tasks faced by health care professionals and their staffs working in the current system. The author asserts that these growing frustrations and shorter times for patient encounters have adversely affected the physician-patient relationship. Her solutions include restoring the control of medicine to physicians and returning to reimbursement systems that resemble fee-for-service care.
Managed CareSaving the Soul of Medicine. JAMA. 2001;285(6):813-814. doi:10.1001/jama.285.6.813-JBK0214-3-1