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Book Club - 5:00 p.m. Sunday
The book for the May 13th Skeptic Book Club meeting is: What's Your Life Worth? Health Care Rationing... Who Lives? Who Dies? And Who Decides?, by David Dranove.


Sunday, May 13, 2007, 5:00-7:00 p.m.

RET's Skeptic Book Club meets on the 2nd Sunday of each month at 5:00 - 7:00 p.m., at Barnes and Noble Bookseller on Kingston Pike, a couple of blocks west of West Town.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
David Dranove is one of the world's most respected health care economists. He is the Walter McNerney Distinguished Professor of Health Industry Management at Northwestern University's Kellogg Graduate School of Management, as well as Director of the Center for Health Industry Market Economics there.

His research and teaching focus on problems in industrial organization and business strategy with an emphasis on the health care industry. He has published over 70research papers, monographs, and book chapters on health economics and pharmaco economics, and is co-author ofthe popular textbook The Economics of Strategy and the trade books How Hospitals Survived and The Economic Evolution of American Health Care: From Marcus Welby to Managed Care.

His many awards have included the Association of University Programs in Health Administration's John D. Thompson Prize in Health Services Research and numerous "research article of the year" prizes. Professor Dranove holds a Ph.D. in Business Economics from Stanford University.


SUMMARY
Health care costs keep soaring. Insurers, employers, and governments won't tolerate it anymore. They're beginning to aggressively ration health care--through huge co-payments ,limits on new technologies, and long waiting lists.

The debate of the decade won't be whether to ration, but how. This book introduces "rational rationing," which focuses resources on the medical interventions that provide the biggest bang for the buck. Ration the right way, says David Dranove, and rationing can save thousands of lives and billions of dollars. Do it wrong, and it'll cause unnecessary pain, suffering, and death.

Right now, experts are calculating which diseases are worth curing, which treatments are worth paying for, and which aren't. They're putting a price on your life. This book tells you who they are, what they're up to, what they think your life's worth--and what to do about it.

Health care rationing has arrived--with a vengeance. If you value your health, you'd better understand it--and be ready. In this book, one of the world's leading health care economists offers a hard-nosed analysis of today's soaring health care costs--and shows how it will feel to be at the mercy of a system that might choose not to cure you.

David Dranove previews the transition from today's ad hoc rationing to an era of "rational rationing," in which economic analysis of the value of human lives and specific treatments is both explicit and routine. He assesses the mixed results of rational rationing in Great Britain, Australia, and Oregon, where government decision makers struggle with balancing science and politics in the face of budgets that place an alarmingly low value on life.

You'll discover that health services researchers have learned to numerically score different diseases to determine which are most worth curing; even how to calculate the value of your own life. They use this information to assess which new technologies are worth the steep price. What they find is at odds with the prevailing view of employers, insurers, and, especially, government regulators who want to stop health spending in its tracks. Most new technologies are worth every dollar, and then some.



Posted by pking
May 08, 2007