The Price We Pay

“What Broke American Healthcare and How to Fix It”

the price we pay book cover by marty makary m.d.

Review by MSHPM Board Member, Leslie Ahmad

It’s not often I get the chance to read a business book, let alone one that REALLY gets my attention. Well, this book is well worth the time and money invested, as I found myself having to read and reread many of the stories.

“The Price we Pay” is a book published in 2019, and written by an Oncology Surgeon and Professor of Health Policy at Johns Hopkins University. Dr. Makary provides a very authentic view of healthcare as a patient, provider, and researcher of the topic.

Did you know that currently one in five Americans has medical debt in collections? In fact, half of metastatic (stage 4) breast care patients in the U.S. report being pursued by a collection agency for medical bills, according to a 41-state study based out of Arizona!

The book goes on to share the frequent breakdown in care coordination, physician overtreatment and prescribing habits that we so often hear about, but don’t know how to navigate in our personal lives. Dr. Makary shared his personal experience with a cardiologist who recommended a statin for his high cholesterol. After researching his family history, consulting with a relative in the profession in the middle east, he realized the medication wasn’t necessary. The relative also suggested that U.S. doctors are well known in the international cardiology community to overmedicate, overstent, and overtreat. Mackary’s physician thanked him for the research and confirmed no meds were needed.

The research that Dr. Makary and his research team at Johns Hopkins did across the country, really creates a call to action for the reader to be more inquisitive, patient focused, and above all do what our healthcare professionals and the industry were originally intended to do; treat all humans equally with fairness and dignity.
Make a note to put “The Price We Pay” at the top of your holiday wish list!