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Book and Media Reviews
October 4, 2006

Health Care

Author Affiliations

Book and Media Reviews Section Editor: Harriet S. Meyer, MD, Contributing Editor, JAMA.

JAMA. 2006;296(13):1659-1664. doi:10.1001/jama.296.13.1660

This book has a bold title. To redefine anything is to imply that the current definition is wrong. Throughout this fascinating work, Professors Porter and Teisberg successfully argue that current arguments about the patently obvious failures of the US health care system are incorrectly directed. Health care competition, they write, is focused “at the wrong level,” meaning:

the wrong conception of health care, . . . the wrong objective over the wrong time horizon, . . . the wrong geographic market, . . . the wrong strategies, . . . the wrong structure of health care delivery, . . . the wrong industry structure, . . . the wrong information, . . . the wrong patient attitudes and motivations, . . . the wrong incentives for health plans [and] providers, . . . and the wrong response from employers.