Review Of "The Corporate Practice Of Medicine : Competition And Innovation In Health Care" By J. C. Robinson

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Robinson (health economics, Univ. of California, Berkeley) documents, analyzes, and evaluates the transformation of medical practice from a highly individualized, professional form of organization into a more integrated corporate form. Although in the past medicine was viewed as a sector apart from commercial activity, this separation is no longer the case. The author carefully and exhaustively considers, among other factors, the role played by technological change, increasing cost consciousness, new relationships between insurers and care providers, and changes in public policy in fostering the transformation of medicine to a corporate form. In addition to presenting a precise typology of the range of organizational forms of medical practice, the author provides an interesting analysis of the changes in bargaining power that accompany these developments. A particular strength of this book is the author's fair-mindedness; he is careful to recognize both the strengths and weaknesses that have accompanied these changes and avoids a dogmatic rejection or celebration of the inroads made by economic considerations. This work is a valuable contribution to health economics and policy as well as applied industrial organization economics. Recommended for upper-division undergraduate through professional level collections.


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