Best Care Anywhere

BEST CARE ANYWHERE…. Since its original publication three years ago, Phillip Longman’s Best Care Anywhere has become a classic among health care delivery system reformers. Nobel Laureate and New York Times columnist, Paul Krugman, has applauded its central insight: that a universal, integrated system such as the VA is best equipped to maximize health care quality while lowering costs thanks to its long-term relationship with its patients. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post has called Best Care Anywhere, “Among the most important social policy books published in the last decade.” Through word of mouth and expert endorsement, it has become one of the nation’s best-selling books on fixing the health care delivery system as well as assigned reading for students of health care policy. Now, by popular demand, Longman has produced a new, expanded second edition that relates the book’s paradoxical message to the new and urgent challenges created by passage of comprehensive health insurance reform.

The book chronicles the transformation of the VA health system from one of the worst health care providers in United States into one that outperforms nearly all others on metrics ranging from patient safety to the use of electronic medical records, adoption of evidence medicine, cost-effectiveness and patient satisfaction. Longman uses this story, along with that of his first wife’s death to breast cancer at a prestigious cancer treatment center, to draw out lessons about how much of what we think we know about the working of the health care delivery system is simply wrong.

On Thursday, the New America Foundation will host a discussion on Longman’s book at its D.C. office at 12:15 p.m. The event will be moderated by Paul Glastris, the Washington Monthly‘s editor in chief, who edited and published the original magazine cover story that became the book. Longman also wrote a follow-up piece, “Best Care Everywhere,” in the October 2007 issue.

If you wish to attend in person, you can register here. If you want to watch the event online, a live webcast is available at the same link. (You need not register to watch the webcast.)