Book Review - Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely: Making Intelligent Choices in America's Healthcare System by Dr. Davis Liu
It seems as if navigating America's health care system continues to get more complex with each passing year. Dr. Davis Liu's book, Stay Healthy, Live Longer, Spend Wisely: Making Intelligent Choices in America's Healthcare System, presents a practical guide to how best to steer your way to an excellent relationship with your health care professionals while not going bankrupt in the process.
Part 1 - The Most Important Policy You Will Ever Own: Health Insurance, Savings Accounts, and Cost; Consumer Driven Health Plans (CDHPS), Health Savings Accounts (HSAS), and Personal Responsibility; The Quality of Your Health Insurance Matters!; Do Your Homework. Question Everything and Pay Nothing (Right Away); You're On Your Own; Health Care Costs - How Much Does It Cost For Procedures and Tests?
Part 2 - Mastering the Ten-Minute Doctor Office Visit: The Importance of a Medical History; Providing The Perfect History; Know Yourself - Your Personal Medical History; Make Every Office Visit Count; Informed Consent - Is It OK With You?; Don't See Your Doctor
Part 3 - Do The Right Thing Regularly and Repeatedly: The Prudent Approach To Staying Healthy; American Cancer Society; Cancer Guidelines for Women; Cancer Guidelines for Men; Cancer Guidelines for Women and Men; American Heart Association (AHA); American Diabetes Association (ADA); U.S. Preventative Services Task Force (USPSTF); Immunizations and Vaccinations; Happy Birthday to You; Denied Coverage? Reimbursement Letter
Part 4 - Meet Your Medical Team: Your Health Advisors - Physicians; Internists and Family Physicians; Specialists; Medical Specialties; Surgical Specialties; Other Primary Care Fields; Other Specialties; What's the Deal with DOs (Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine)?; Other Providers; Office Settings
Part 5 - The Truth About Medications: The Magic Pills; Generic and Branded Medications - What's The Difference?; Partnering With Your Doctor - Having a Frank Discussion; Making Sense of Over-The-Counter (OTC) Medications
Part 6 - Caveat Emptor, Or "Let the Buyer Beware": Concierge Care; Body Scans; Herbal and Dietary Supplements
Part 7 - Twenty-First Century Medical Care: Looking Forward - Trends Redefining Health Care; Hospitalists; Group Visits; Evidence-Based Medicine
Part 8 - Take Control - Excellent Health Pays: Self-Serve Health Care; Stay Healthy; Using the Internet for Research; The Future of America's Health Care
Appendix - Referenced Web Sites; Notes; Index
Dr. Liu has created an excellent guide that covers virtually all the moving parts of the American health care system that you as a consumer will deal with. Even better, he does so without pushing an overt agenda or offering some "secret method" for making it all work. He acknowledges that the system can be confusing and frustrating, but knowledge is key in making effective choices. He's big on making sure you have your own version of a personal health record that you can quickly present to a doctor to summarize your health history. Given the current focus on electronic personal medical records, this makes a lot of sense. He also ends each section with a "Take-Home Points" summary, a convenient list of action items that reinforce all the information just covered as well as making it easy to put into action the points you just learned. There are also a number of sidebar insets throughout the pages that highlight certain key points in a sentence or two, making it easy to skim back through the book to pick up the pertinent facts.
This is a book I'd have no problem recommending to someone trying to get a grasp on making sense of the health care maze in America. That should include just about everyone. It's balanced, practical, and deals with reality instead of a nirvana that doesn't exist. Nice job...