Northwell CEO pens new book defending U.S. healthcare

Northwell CEO pens new book defending U.S. healthcare
Author Charles Kenney, left, and Northwell Health CEO and president Michael Dowling, who co-authored a new book about “megatrends” in the U.S. healthcare system. (Photo courtesy of Northwell Health)

Northwell Health CEO and president Michael Dowling has co-authored the new book “Health Care Reboot: Megatrends Energizing American Medicine” that defends the U.S. health system.

“While we still have a long way to go to make health care more efficient and effective, we’ve made enormous strides in finding new cures and treatments for cancer, heart disease, stroke and other potentially deadly conditions, while also expanding access to care, restoring patients’ trust in the system and delivering value,” Dowling said.

The book, which written with  Charles Kenney, executive editor of the Northwell Series on Health Care Innovation, argues that presents trends in the health care system offer optimism about improvements in the system’s structure.

Among the trends are breakthroughs in heart disease and cancer treatment and the addition of behavioral health services to primary care.

Critics of the U.S. health system argue that it fails many Americans because of cost, accessibility and quality.

“The U.S. has the most inefficient medical system in the world, based on health care spending and outcomes,” wrote University of Munich economics professor John Komlos in a PBS NewsHour column last year, citing low American life expectancy and high health care spending compared to other developed nations.

Dowling and Kenney write that such negativity draws focus away from the progress that is being made.

“Yes, our health care system has many problems, but there has been significant progress, and new developments hold the promise of better, more affordable care,” they write in the first chapter. “We confess to being optimistic about the direction in which health care is headed, and we’re aware that this sort of optimism has ‘gone out of style,’ as writer Gregg Easterbook puts it.”

They call upon health professionals and government officials to acknowledge the “megatrends” they address in the book and to cultivate the progress that has been made so that it may continue to grow.

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