Catastrophic Care

  • by David Goldhill
  • Narrated by Dean Sluyter
  • 13 hrs and 4 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A visionary investigation that will change the way we think about health care: how and why it is failing, why expanding coverage will actually make things worse, and how our health care can be transformed into a transparent, affordable, successful system.
In 2007, David Goldhill’s father died from infections acquired in a hospital - one of more than two hundred thousand avoidable deaths per year caused by medical error. The bill was enormous - and Medicare paid it. These circumstances left Goldhill angry and determined to understand how world-class technology and personnel could coexist with such carelessness - and how a business that failed so miserably could be paid in full. Catastrophic Care is the eye-opening result.
Blending personal anecdotes and extensive research, Goldhill presents us with cogent, biting analysis that challenges the basic preconceptions that have shaped our thinking for decades. Contrasting the Island of health care with the Mainland of our economy, he demonstrates that high costs, excess medicine, terrible service, and medical error are the inevitable consequences of our insurance-based system. He explains why policy efforts to fix these problems have invariably produced perverse results, and how the new Affordable Care Act is more likely to deepen than to solve these issues.
Goldhill steps outside the incremental and wonkish debates to question the conventional wisdom blinding us to more fundamental issues. He proposes a comprehensive new way, where the customer (the patient) is first - a system focused on health and maintaining it, a system strong and vibrant enough for our future.
If you think health care is interesting only to institutes and politicians, think again: Catastrophic Care is surprising, engaging, and brimming with insights born of questions nobody has thought to ask. Above all it is an audiobook of new ideas that can transform the way we understand a subject we often take for granted.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful


I recently saw the author doing a spot on a news show promoting the book. When I saw the title I was kind of put off, however, he does not dwell on his father's death rather uses it as an example of our failing health care system.

First you do not have to be a scholar to understand this book. It is written so everyone can benefit. The book is honest and thoughful. It gives excellent clarity to an incredible complicated issue.

It is an excellent primer for anyone seeking to understand the reason health care is so very expensive and why so many reforms including the Affordable Care Act, are destined to fail because they do not provide the correct incentives.

The author also provides ideas for correcting the issue as well.

The narration is clean and crisp. I was able to listen to it at 2x speed on my phone and it was excellent

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- G. Sanders "Avid reader!"

A jarring (must) read

This is the most thorough and accessible explanation of the underlying economics that drive our healthcare system. Anyone who wants to understand why it works the way it does should read/listen to this book. It will intrigue and frustrate you to no end, but it'll leave you with a deep understanding of the system. It's changed many of my views and opened my eyes up to the real problem we face. We have created a weird hybrid market that is 95% centrally controlled/driven and 5% market driven (mostly for show). That makes unexpected things happen, so we make more rules and those make more unexpected things happen. Then we repeat. Mix in politics, emotions and cost plus pricing and you end up with what Goldhill calls "the beast".

The narrator was perfect at 1.25 speed.
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- Donald F. Lee III

Book Details

  • Release Date: 01-08-2013
  • Publisher: Random House Audio