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Rise and Fall of Managed Care
Date of Review: 
R.E. Darnell
Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries

Book Review Rise and Fall of Managed Care; a comprehensive history of a mass medical movement. Choice: Current Reviews for Academic Libraries. September 2001, Vol. 39 No. 01

Wyndham Hall Press, 2001.

Smith presents a chilling indictment of managed care in which prepaid medical services controlled by “gatekeeper” physicians are delivered to a defined, voluntarily enrolled population. Nine chapters treat beginnings, expansion, enthusiastic contagion, adoption, finances, cautions, the bind of captivity, early warnings, and late signs, followed by a conclusion with considerations after a predicted fall. Each chapter is written in a reader-friendly style, utilizing numbered sections and comprehensive notes and citations. A cumulative index is also included. The author, a physician, makes a thoughtful and scholarly presentation of managed care as an irrational mass movement driven by definable political, social, and psychological factors in which profit and greed have created a system where incentives are provided for sub-minimal care and disincentives for quality care. A vital acquisition for every library serving the needs of the health care professions, public policy organizations, and the general public. General readers; upper-division undergraduates through professionals.
R.E. Darnell, University of Michigan–Flint.