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Book and Media Reviews
July 15, 2009

Disease, Diagnoses, and Dollars: Facing the Ever-Expanding Market for Medical Care

JAMA. 2009;302(3):332. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1030

As President Obama initiates new policies of health care reform, he emphasizes that these are aimed toward achieving universal coverage and must include reduction of health care costs as well as a broadening of access to care. These aims are inseparable and mutually dependent. In Disease, Diagnoses, and Dollars, Robert Kaplan brings his professional experience and research to bear on “the ever-expanding market for medical care” and the challenge it presents to achieving cost control and better outcomes. He proposes a variety of opportunities for reducing costs while increasing effectiveness of medical practice. This involves his confronting “disquieting conflicts between consumers and their healthcare providers” and his recognizing the need for greater accountability for too-often unwanted outcomes by patients as well as medical practitioners seeking to make decisions within a humanly as well as systemically complex field of interaction.