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The Health Care Industry: A Primer for Board Members



The Health Care Industry: A Primer for Board Members

Dennis D. Pointer, Stephen J. Williams

ISBN: 978-0-787-96721-5 November 2003 Jossey-Bass 160 Pages


Health care industry board members are called upon to make decisions that have an enormous effect on their organizations, medical staffs, employees, and their communities. To be effective, they must understand context; the health care industry's structure and dynamics
The Health Care Industry offers board members a comprehensive resource that clearly explains how health services are organized, financed, and provided. This much-needed resource contains a wealth of information and
  • Explains board responsibilities
  • Describes organizations that provide health services such as ambulatory care facilities, physician practices, hospitals, nursing homes, home health agencies, health systems and public health agencies
  • Clarifies how money moves through the system: insurance, health plans, Medicare, Medicaid and HMOs.
  • Describes the characteristics and training of health professionals including physicians, nurses, dentists, pharmacists, chiropractors, and physicians assistants
  • Provides a glossary of health care terms, concepts, and acronyms

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List of Tables and Figures.


About the Authors.

1. Foundations.

At a Glance.

Some History.

Health and Disease.

Health Service Need, Demand, and Utilization.

Boards and Governance.

2. Health Care Organizations and Services.

Distinctive Characteristics.

Ambulatory Care.

Hospital Care.

Long-Term Care.

Mental Health Care.

Health Systems.

Public Health Services.

3. Health Care Financing.

Changing Economic Dynamics.

Flow of Funds Through the System.

Health Insurance.

Types of Health Insurance Plans.

Voluntary Health Insurance.

Social Health Insurance (Medicare).

Welfare Insurance (Medicaid).

Health Maintenance Organizations.

4. Health Care Personnel.



Ancillary Nursing Personnel.



Other Health Professionals.

5. Predictions and Challenges.


A. Glossary of Health Care Terms.

B. Medical Specialties.

C. Recommendations for Learning More.



"The authors have succeeded in writing a primer targeting new and long-tenured board members." (Journal for Healthcare Quality, May/June 2004)