Tells the remarkable story of how the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health-care system transformed itself from a national scandal to a national model
Explains the multiple advances and innovations that have enabled the VA to provide an unparalleled level of service
Recommends how to adapt and expand the VA model to the entire country
Expanding health-care coverage to uninsured Americans is a laudable goal, but the problems in our system go much deeper than that. The way that health care is delivered in this country is deeply flawed. Studies consistently show Americans spend more per person on health care than the people in any other country with far poorer outcomes. For example, Costa Ricans spend a fraction of what we do and live a year longer.
But a solution to Americaís health-care crisis does exist. Itís not a theoretical alternative thatís never been implemented. And you donít have to go to a foreign country to see it. Itís already up and running, with hospitals and clinics located in every state. Itís the VA health-care system, the largest integrated system in the United States.
In Best Care Anywhere, Phillip Longman tells the full story of the VAís amazing turnaround. Once a regular source of nationally reported scandals, the VA system is now hailed for its exceptional safety record, its use of evidence-based medicine, its health promotion and wellness programs, and its unparalleled adoption of electronic medical records and other information technologies. And itís the only health-care provider in the United States whose cost per patient has been holding steady as othersí skyrocket.
The story of how and why the VA became the benchmark for quality medicine in the United States suggests that vast swaths of what we think we know about health, health care, and medical economics are just wrong. Longman suggests ways that this extraordinarily cost-effective model can be adapted so that a VA level of health care could be available to everyone.
New to this edition are an analysis of so-called Obamacare and the Ryan proposal to privatize Medicare. It also describes the results achieved when the VA electronic record system was implemented in West Virginia and Texas and features completely updated statistics and research, including 2011 cancer studies by Harvard University that prove VA cancer patients outlive cancer patients in traditional health care.