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Best Care Anywhere: Why VA Health Care Is Better Than Yours

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  157 ratings  ·  19 reviews
The long-maligned Veterans Health Administration has become the highest-quality healthcare provider in the United States. This encouraging change not only has benefited veterans but also provides a blueprint for salvaging America's own deeply troubled healthcare system. "Best Care Anywhere" shows how a government bureaucracy, working with little notice, is setting the ...more
Paperback, 159 pages
Published January 1st 2007 by Polipoint Press
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Aug 18, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I initially read this book since I work for the VA and it was going to be part of a leadership book club. However, i feel that it was about so much more than just the VA and their service. It really seemed to be a forum for health care in general. I feel that this should really start the discussion of changes in the US healthcare system. It may not have all the answers, but can begin a stimulating dialogue.
Mar 07, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great institutional success story; Longman's focus on the VA's progress over the past couple of decades is better than the policy recommendations implied by the subtitle, though both are concise and probably the first reading I'd recommend to anyone curious about healthcare in the US.

(Note: I'm familiar with the VA as a contractor helping them implement new technology.)

A summary: the veteran's health system was sub-par until the mid-'90s, when new leadership made some bold changes. It may
Ron Urwongse
Sep 10, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exciting history of the VA and the VistA EHR platform. Compelling proposal on how the VA's model of health care delivery can be extended.
May 30, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Most informed observers are well aware of the shortcomings of US health care. Its reliance on private health insurance has produced the costliest health care in the industrialized world with meager results to show for it. The vast array of health insurers that finance most of the nation's health care have little interest in the long term health of patients who can and do switch insurers as often as they change employers, move, or switch insurance for a variety of reasons. Physicians themselves ...more
Jun 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If we want to see health care reform become a reality in our lifetime, studying the VA healthcare system is the place to begin. “Advance the mission of true health care reform by bringing us closer to establishing the principle that access to affordable quality health care is a right of citizenship.”
Jun 03, 2019 rated it did not like it
Shelves: junk
Veteran's health services are the best one can get, as long as you are not eligible. This is a fairy tale for those who never experienced it.
Nov 21, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot about the history of VA from this book. There are a lot of interesting facts--such as it was the employees at VA that developed VISTA, not some crappy government contractor who overcharges and doesn't get the job done. (Yes, I'm looking at you, EDS. Your FedTraveler sucks.) I didn't know that VA is required to report all medical errors for oversight purposes while the private sector does not. I also didn't realize that a lot of facilities and practitioners were atrophying in the ...more
Jul 18, 2009 rated it really liked it
It's interesting how Longman comes to the conclusion that VA is the best healthcare in America. Fortune magazine assigned him the task of finding out who had the best solutions to the healthcare crisis. They (and Longman) assumed this would be found in the private sector. They were looking for an article about a dynamic CEO type running the company of the future that would take the healthcare industry by storm. What Longman found instead was perhaps the most counter intuitive result ...more
Bob Adolf
Feb 11, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fascinating read, if a little one-sided. Longman does his best to provide evidence in support of the VA EMR system, and much of his story is convincing. I came away from the book agreeing with his premise in spirit, if not in letter. The scientist in me was left wanting a deeper story behind many of the statistics in the book--it's clear that some of them are weighted in favor of the argument (e.g.- medical errors are the third leading cause of mortality in America; I am inclined to believe a ...more
Oct 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Best Care Anywhere is a well-written, easy-to-read discussion of a serious problem that we face and one possible solution to that problem. Unlike many books on the subject, this one is short and written in an easily accessible style. The analysis and suggestions are pragmatic. All Longman cares about is results, not ideology. Best Care Anywhere is must reading for anyone who wants to understand the health care issues that face the country and wants some understanding of what can be done about ...more
Nikki H
Sep 02, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
Read this while on rotation at the VA.
I have to say I was very impressed with the care provided at the SLC VA.
They have more incentive to keep people well and to keep medical costs down.
Chapter 8: When less is more was fascinating.
I would recommend this read to anyone interested in improving healthcare in our nation.
George Kelley
Dec 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a book everyone needs to read before discussing health care. Longman lays out reasons why the VA stood above its competition and you can really grasp several reasons that make our healthcare less than optimal.

I can not recommend this book highly enough.
Nov 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed-by-me
As with T R Reid's book The Healing of America, I can only think that people who have strong opinions about health care such as "it can be consumer-driven" (i.e., competition can lower prices), are grossly uninformed about the facts of the recent history of health care in America.

(If you're making a little healthcare reading list for yourself, read Reid first, then this one.)

This book is a mind-blower, more for the detail than the big picture. The big picture is that there is just one healthcare
Jul 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a stealth book.

Really about why medical care can reduce your health and how the VA commits to Veterans' Health even though it is more expensive, and then does it in a very effective and inexpensive way.

i tried to find negative reviews of Longman because this book is such a love story with the VHA. None. Nada. huh?

Along the way we hear:
* why computer nerds were fired for having desktops and had sugar put in their BMWs and vistA rocks worldwide
* Why Medicare will sink our country
Andy Oram
Oct 24, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: health, technology
This is an important history of a fabled success story that is stlll not discussed and appreciated enough. In hindsight, after more studies, VistA software does not seem as miraculous and error-free as it was thought to be at the time this book was written. But it's still making great strides, having been rated the easiest-to-use electronic health record by a survey of doctors, and being adopted in many countries on different continents. I think the lessons of this book for how to make software ...more
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was an outstanding read; I would definately recommend it to anyone going into a career within VHA; or the private sector healthcare industry as well. I say this, because electronic medical records will eventually be the standard in the private sector, ensuring continuety of care for patients regardless of where they choose to recieve it.
Mar 09, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: grad-reading-2
For a general interest book, I thought it was very good. I really enjoyed the stories related to VHA reform and summaries of the theories behind the American health care system. That said, I don't believe that the author has made the case that the American health care system should be reformed as he recommends. As a law student, I thought that the legal foundation was a bit crude.
Paul Tibbits
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Solid historical perspective on thought leadership from the Department of Veterans Affairs with respect to healthcare and the use of information technology.
Samuel Parish
May 24, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Compelling evidence for integrated primary care. The VA medical system is ahead of most of the country in providing comprehensive care even under budgetary constraints.
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