With health reform enacted by the Congress and signed by the President, the subject matter of The Treatment Trap is a compelling component in the national debate. Taking advantage of Rosemary Gibson's kwledge gleaned from extended experience in the field of medical care and Janardan Singh's similar kwledge but from a financial perspective, the authors explore the most neglected issue in American medicine today: the overuse of medical care, including needless surgery and other invasive procedures, out-of-control x-ray imaging, profligate testing, and other wasteful practices that have become routine among too many American doctors. Their combined reporting and analysis concentrates on the human aspects of this disturbing trend in health care, with personal experiences that reflect poorly on hospitals as well as physicians. They show how money spent for questionable and even useless care is diverting major funds that could be better used to treat patients who are genuinely sick and sometimes cant afford the extravagant charges of the American health-care system. Their suggestions for reforming the delivery of health care, and their cautions to individual consumers about how to deal with situations they may encounter, make The Treatment Trap essential reading for medical care consumers, health-care professionals, and policymakers alike.
Rosemary Gibson is senior program officer at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, where for thirteen years she has directed hundreds of millions of dollars in grants aimed at improving end-of-life care. Janardan Prasad Singh is an economist at the World Bank and has written extensively on health care, social policy, and economic development. The authors have also collaborated on Wall of Silence, a book of narratives about medical error.