People from all walks of life are finding reason to read The Health Care Handbook.


  • “It’s incredibly difficult to explain a complex industry like Healthcare, and almost all attempts out there are spun with some form of bias.  This book is the best I’ve come across at outlining the information in a manner that’s easy to understand and objective.  It’s now part of the core Healthcare curriculum at our company.”

    Greg Kain

    Managing Director, Integrated Project Management

  • “Written specifically for health professions students, this textbook  provides an excellent introduction and overview of the United States health care system. The text offers an illuminating and accessible commentary on a range of key features of this complex system.”

    Dr. Scott Reeves

    UCSF School of Nursing

  • “We have utilized The Health Care Handbook at CannonDesign for internal executive education sessions with 200 healthcare design professionals. We have found it to be one of the best books that simplifies the complex US healthcare industry into an easy read. The Handbook has been well received by new employees with no experience in health care as well as those that have worked in the field for 20+ years.”

    Michael Pukszta, AIA

    Healthcare Practice Leader

  • “The Health Care Handbook is concise, well written, and provides a wealth of information for those wanting a broad, yet reasonably detailed, overview of the U.S. health care system.  I will recommend it highly to our students and post-graduates residents.”

    Mark L. Britton

    Senior Associate Dean College of Pharmacy, University of Oklahoma

  • “This is the only book I have come across that clearly explains the US Health Care System, it’s stakeholders, and policies. Nathan and Elisabeth have put together a primer that should be required reading for anyone working in health.”

    Megan Caldwell

    Executive Director, Health for America

  • “Clearly written and well-organized, this manual does a superb job of clearly explaining the complex changes that are occurring in our healthcare system.  This book should be equally useful to the novice medical student and the experienced clinician.”


    Lawrence E. Kass, MD

    Professor of Emergency Medicine Director, Office of Interprofessional Collaborative Education & Teamwork Penn State University College of Medicine

  • “Their jargon-free writing is approachable and a must-read for anybody who seeks to understand the gnarly landscape [of health care] before they attempt to reshape it.”


    Natasha Awasthi, MBA

  • “The Health Care Handbook has received rave reviews from my students, who find the text to be easy to read, concise, and comprehensive but understandable. The handbook is effective in providing a basic overview of a highly complex system, while also introducing discussions about ongoing reform efforts and unresolved issues related to pricing, culture change, and the Affordable Care Act. This has become the essential text for my program’s health care policy classes.”

    Jennifer C. Greenfield, MSW, PhD

    Assistant Professor, Graduate School of Social Work University of Denver

  • “It’s the kind of book to share not only with your doctors and colleagues, but with your friends and Aunt Dorothy, too.  In their unpretentious voice, Ms. Askin and Mr. Moore make clear from the beginning that their explanations are neither in-depth nor definitive. But given their evenhanded and highly organized prose, it’s hard not to put their book in the same revered category as a medical textbook or dictionary. In a mere 175 pages, and with an impressive roster of references and well-placed graphics, ‘The Health Care Handbook’ illuminates the maddeningly opaque terms, acronyms, organizations, personages and policies that abound in health care. The authors do so not by expounding on the minutiae, but by jettisoning the jargon and gobbledygook and presenting only the core ideas.”

    The New York Times

    Pauline Chen, M.D.,

  • The Healthcare Handbook is an extraordinary accomplishment. The handbook presents the complex healthcare system in a clear and lucid manner. I believe that the handbook will serve as the foundation for the introduction to and instruction of all medical students as they confront an evolving healthcare system.”

    Gerald S. Levey, M.D.

    Dean Emeritus, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA

  • “This wonderful book by and for students is exactly what it claims to be – a clear and concise guide to the incredibly complex health system we have in the United States.  It is chock full of important knowledge; and it is engagingly written.  Although the authors invite readers not to read straight through, it is hard to put it down.  Initiated by a desire to increase their own understanding of the environment that they were entering as medical students, Elisabeth Askin and Nathan Moore have performed an invaluable service for others.”

    Stephen C. Schoenbaum, MD, MPH

    Special Advisor to the President
    The Josiah Macy Jr. Foundation

  • “For many years at both the University of Pennsylvania and UAB’s Schools of Medicine. I have taught understanding the US health system to medical students. Until the Health Care Handbook was published by Askin and Moore I struggled to find readings. Using the Handbook this year enhanced the course experience for the students and was well received by the students, guest lecturers, and me. The book is well written and informative. What is more because it was written by medical students the students relate to it well.”

    Will Ferniany, PhD

    CEO, UAB Health System

  • “In The Health Care Handbook, Askin and Moore, two medical students (!), describe how our healthcare system works… and doesn’t. Their book is a superb primer on our system, written in an accessible style that will appeal to students of any age, from 18 to 80. Talk about precocious — when I was a medical student, I was trying to survive anatomy and physiology. A terrific book and a great accomplishment.”

    Robert Wachter, M.D.

    Professor and Chief of the Division of Hospital Medicine
    University of California-San Francisco

  • “Medical students Askin and Moore have partnered to write an extremely easy-to-understand book that explains the U.S. health-care system. The book succeeds in making sense of health care without opinion, bias, or dense textbook language. Divided into five chapters, the book contains a wealth of information that will leave health-care professionals, students, and patients well educated about a system that usually leaves everyone confused.”

  • “When individuals decide they want to become a healthcare professional, many times they really don’t know the basics of how the healthcare system functions.  Reading a straight forward, non-political book like the The Health Care Handbook would be beneficial before one decides to enter the healthcare field.  Gaining the knowledge provided in this book would make a person a better applicant for graduate school and would give them a strong foundation to build upon in their professional training.”

    Michael Puthoff, PT, PhD, GCS

    Associate Professor and Director
    St. Ambrose University Physical Therapy Department
    Davenport, IA

  • The Health Care Handbook is exactly what it claims to be; “A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System”.  It was researched and written by two medical students who recognized that medical school does not prepare US doctors for dealing with the system in which they practice.  The result is one of the best overviews of American health care that I have seen to date.”

    Thomas W. Byrne

    Director, Health Economics & Reimbursement
    Boston Scientific Corporation

  • “Two Washington University in St. Louis medical students have written a broad and timely survey of health care in America—equal parts textbook and cheat sheet. Their target audience is fellow med students and those studying in public health and other allied health fields. But The Health Care Handbook is a good starting point for any student, health professional, or lay reader interested in how health care is delivered, paid for, researched, supplemented, and debated.”

    Rob Lott

  • “The Health Care Handbook is therefore fundamental for every doctor’s office to inform all members of the expanding medical team, particularly for those with less formal medical training. It allows all of us to better understand the complex system of which we are a part, thus allowing us to better serve our patients and work to simplify the barriers that they face.”

    Society of Teachers of Family Medicine

    Kyle Bradford Jones, MD

    University of Utah

  • “If you are a total neophyte to the subject of healthcare in the United States—and for some reason need a quick-start guide to get you up to walking speed—then this is a good book for you.”

    Healthcare Book Reviews

    Jared Rhoads

  • “It is a perfect primer for anyone considering a health professions career and for the general public.”

    Michael Johns, M.D.

    Former Chancellor, Emory University
    Former CEO, Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University

  • “I think that health career advisors will find this book both interesting and a valuable addition to any library collection that they may make available to their students.”

    Robert E. Cannon, Ph.D.

    Health Professions Advisor, UNC-Greensboro Assistant Director of Communication, National Association of Advisors for the Health Professions

  • “The book is beneficial to anyone interested in learning more about, and navigating in, the complex and churning world of health care.”

    Brent D. Magers, FACHE, FHFMA, CMPE

    Executive Associate Dean of the School of Medicine
    Chief Executive Officer, Medical Practice Income Plan
    Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

  • “The authors seem to embody the goals of reform in their writing, providing an accessible, nonpartisan guide and keeping the health of our nation (and its financial stability) in mind. This combination of essential information, a clear glossary of terms, and humor make the Handbook required reading.”

    Rachel Nash

  • “I think The Health Care Handbook is amazing, really perfect in so many ways.  As an overview it is very thorough, and equally valuable, very well written and accessible.  The information in this book provides a solid understanding of the health care system, how it functions and the role of professionals in it.  As such, any school training physicians and allied health professionals would be well advised to consider this as required reading.”

    Kathy Dolan, Ph.D.

    Assistant Professor of Family Medicine and Course Director
    University of North Texas Health Science Center / Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine

  • “I am so excited to find all this information in one place, instead of the bits and pieces needed from a dozen books for teaching purposes. The Health Care Handbook fills such a void!”

    Katherine DeSchryver, M.D.

    Professor, Clinical Medicine of Pathology and Immunology
    Washington University School of Medicine

  • “Despite having been an RN for 25 years (and mostly in a hospital setting), it’s amazing all that I didn’t completely understand about our healthcare system. My frustration in working in a system that doesn’t seem to benefit a great many, has forced me back to school (for an MSN) and I hope, more influence on improving the system. Reading this book has clarified many areas that I didn’t have strong knowledge in. Thank you so much for a book that outlines and simplifies our very complex system.”

    Andrea Echevarria, RN

  • “As medical students at Washington University, Askin and Moore struggled to understand the labyrinthine system of healthcare that currently bewilders most Americans. In the end, they wrote the book they wished they had had, which is lucky for your patrons. Well-researched and direct, chapters on ‘Health Care Systems and Delivery,’ ‘Providers,” “Insurance and Economics,’ ‘Research, Pharmaceuticals and Medical Devices,’ and ‘Policy and Reform’ answer the FAQs plaguing the layperson. Glossaries, suggested reading, and references strengthen each chapter’s value as a means to understanding the structure of medical care in the United States today. VERDICT: This easy-to-read handbook covers all the basics of modern health care and is a must-have for public and academic collections.”

    Library Journal

    Christina Connolly

  • “A great resource for students and for residents and really for anyone looking for a broad knowledge of the health care system.”

    Mark Rosenberg, MD

    Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency
    Providence Portland

  • “This is a really fantastic book! I love how it is as close to objective as is possible. Almost every time I thought of an issue while reading, it was covered soon afterwards. This is an impressive work, and I hope it finds its way to many students!”

    Jennifer Della’Zanna, MFA, CPC, CGSC

    Medical Educator and Writer

  • “Future healthcare practitioners must be ready to work in teams and to prove the efficacy of that approach in terms of positive patient /client outcomes.  The Health Care Handbook begins that crucial conversation and offers students from all disciplines a concise and practical view of the healthcare landscape, doing so within the context of interprofessional care. I highly recommend this text for inclusion in every healthcare education curriculum.”

    Steven D. Taff, PhD, OTR/L

    Associate Director of Professional Programs
    Instructor in Occupational Therapy and Medicine
    Program in Occupational Therapy, Washington University School of Medicine

  • “[Elisabeth and Nathan’s] quest to better understand the dynamics, financing, terminology of our health care system, and the underpinnings of the Affordable Care Act led to the recognition that a handbook, clearly written and fun to read, was needed. They took up the task and have produced a marvelous book. If you’ve ever wondered what the Joint Commission was, what “bundled payments” are, and have ever nodded when a faculty member mentioned “capitation” and had no idea what she was talking about, this is a resource for you. This handbook represents a superb achievement, and is a great example of what can be accomplished when one applies his or herself thoroughly and with integrity.”

    Residency Secrets
  • “I’ve been reading this book and I highly recommend it for any student or health professional — it’s concise, easy to read, and really does a great job in breaking down the system. While it doesn’t go into detailed specifics about certain aspects of health care, it does serve as a great foundation. As a new graduate nurse or health professional ready to enter the field, having a fundamental understanding of the country’s complicated health industry can undoubtedly paint a clearer picture of not only how the system works, but what patients face as they navigate the system.”

    Alert and Oriented
  • “American health care is complicated, so byzantine that few who work in the system even understand its reach and rules. Two medical students from Washington University in St. Louis have performed a massive public service in writing this book. It is a clear, understandable, practical guide for any audience, and at 226 pages, remarkably brief. They have found a way to describe the system in language any American can understand but wonks will also appreciate. Even the organization of the book is better than others on the subject – starting with the structure of the current “system” and ending with reform, including the impact of the Supreme Court’s decision last summer. They don’t favor any solution over another and don’t editorialize as too many authors do – the facts speak for themselves. Highly recommended.”

    Connecticut Health Policy Project
  • “I loved the coverage provided in every section as well as the flow and order of information.  The fact that the book is able to present the content in a manner that was succinct yet comprehensive as well as comprehensible (to the general public, not just those directly involved with healthcare) was, to me, the greatest achievement.  I have been in healthcare search for 12 years and found myself learning a few things, going so far as to break my highlighter out and make notations. With the changing landscape of the healthcare industry and the fact that knowledge is truly power, this is a worthy contribution.”

    Jessica Homann

    Vice President, Furst Group

  • “The American Healthcare system can potentially deliver great quality care, if you can navigate the bureaucratic jungle.  “The Healthcare Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System” is a guide to more efficiently traversing the difficult and confusing American healthcare system surrounding the numbers behind insurance, buying medication, recent developments, and much more. “The Healthcare Handbook” is a strong addition to general health studies collections, not to be missed.”

    Midwest Book Review
  • “You may think you can avoid the health care system, but ultimately, you can’t, so it is a good idea to know the 31 different healthcare professions making up this system, and how the big pharmaceutical companies fit into it. Where else can you find discussions of medical malpractice, the economics that make health care expensive, how hospitals are set up, and the medical device industry? An added bonus is the fact that the book covers the recent Supreme Court decision regarding the Affordable Care Act as well as healthcare policy and reform. Even-handed and scrupulously researched, The Health Care Handbook is accessible, at times humorous, and, at 240 pages, concise.”

    The Doctor Will See You Now

    Leslie Carr

  • “Mr. Moore and Ms. Askin know their audience is made up of people who have experienced the system as patients, from the outside and not the inside. They anticipate questions well and avoid digressing into the acronyms and jargon of “hospitalspeak.” And, they’ve included great suggestions for further reading, having clearly learned from more seasoned individuals in policy and practice who know their stuff”

    Glenn N. Cummings, Ph.D.

    Director of Health Professions Advising
    Franklin & Marshall College

  • “This is a good summary of the vast and confusing American healthcare system, published by Washington University in Saint Louis. This would be especially handy for students new to the field and students from other countries who may have their heads spinning attempting to comprehend our system.”

    Fred Hyde, MD, JD, MBA

    Clinical Professor of Health Policy & Management
    Columbia University

  • “[The book] provides a succinct overview of the US healthcare system.”

    Informatics Professor

    Dr. William Hersh

    Professor & Chair, Department of Medical Informatics and Clinical Epidemiology, Oregon Health & Science University

  • “I recently had a few medical school interviews, including a Multiple Mini Interview, and was able to demonstrate my knowledge of the American health care system and the Affordable Care Act thanks to the information I gained from The Health Care Handbook[…] If I get into medical school it will be because this book provided a clearer understanding of the various parties and interests involved in medicine. Thank you so much!”

    Erick Mendoza

    Pre-Med, Columbia University

  • “Because I wasn’t sure when the paperback version of your book would be made available, I had already made another choice for this semester’s course text so we’ve been using The Health Care Handbook as a supplemental text. I find though, the presentation of material in your book has been easier to teach from and more easily understood by my students than the original text book I chose as the primary text!

    What I especially appreciate about The Health Care Handbook is it’s organization and readability. It covers the basics of many health care system components my students will be discovering for the first time, the inclusion of simple charts and graphs helps readers visualize complex concepts, you’ve included an intriguing list of suggested readings to satisfy a deeper understanding of particular topics; and finally, your book seems to be written without bias in favor or against the usual controversies that swirl about this industry. For the students who take my class this will be the perfect go to guide as they tackle an understanding of our health care system.

    Thank you for this much needed compendium.”

    Kimberly Flodin, MSHMP

    Adjunct Professor
    Department of Community Health and Sustainability
    University of Massachusetts, Lowell

  • “Anyone who is confused by the ‘system’ of healthcare in the United States should read this great little book. It’s just the right mix of broad concepts and details, facts and fun. If you’re interested in healthcare, you should be interested in The Healthcare Handbook.”

    Ed Weisbart, MD

    Former Chief Medical Officer, Express Scripts

  • “This is a book every premed, especially those who are interviewing, needs to read right now.”

    The Biopsy
  • “Nathan and Elisabeth have produced a very useful and readable overview of the various structures and players in today’s US health care system. I am sure that the handbook will be visited frequently by physicians in training and other health professionals, if only to become conversant with commonly encountered terms and concepts. Even the most experienced health professionals will benefit from the discussion of how health insurance works and who will be impacted by the provisions of the Affordable Care Act.”

    Bernard J. (Barney) Turnock MD, MPH

    Clinical Professor
    Division of Community Health Sciences, UIC School of Public Health

  • “The Health Care Handbook by Elisabeth Askin and Nathan Moore is a must read and is highly recommended for students. In the same way that The Joy of Cooking belongs in every kitchen, The Health Care Handbook belongs in every household.”

    Santa Barbara Community College HIT/CIM Student Peer Club

  • “The Health Care Handbook: A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System”

    Critical Care Nurse

    October 2013 33:81

  • “I work in market research/strategy for a health system and this is an excellent reference book. Don’t expect complex analysis….and you shouldn’t from this! When you just want to have a big picture, practical understanding of a range of topics related to the US health system, it does the job. Everything from what is a DRG to why (in a nutshell) health costs are so high in this country. Amazing how hard it is to find more books like this on health care. Typically your stuck with polemics or thick text books. Great find.”

    Amazon Reviewer

    Keith Asmussen

  • “I’d recommend this book to all med students before hitting the wards and definitely before residency!”

    Amazon Reviewer


  • “This was a great summary of our current health care system! I thought it was simple and concise and should be read by everyone interested in health care.”

    Amazon Reviewer


  • “There is so much confusion about health care in the US, even among health care professionals. The authors have written a terrific resource that answers many questions asked by patients and their families…this book provides just the right level of content depth and is written in a very accessible style.”

    Amazon Reviewer

    Helen Chen

  • “Excellent and concise overview of the American health care system.  It is very current and presents both sides both sides of every issue fairly”

    Amazon Reviewer

    Jeffrey Winston

  • “I found it to be very well written, easily read even though the subject matter is extensive and complicated and often controversial. I am grateful for their objectivity and extensive research used in describing the many aspects of health care. Having been in the health care “business” for all of my professional life (over 45 yrs.) I think they have done a monumental job in describing it, identifying many of the significant issues on both sides, and resources used in their research as well as that which is available for those who desire more indepth follow-up. Included was a concise overview of the latest effort in dealing with our health care system in the Affordable Care Act. In my humble estimation, they accomplished very well what they set out to do, provide “A Clear and Concise Guide to the United States Health Care System,” the subtitle of the book.”

    David H Pflieger

  • “This was an outstanding read and easy to understand. The best was reading it as e-book and the ability to immediately click and access references and footnotes.”

    Amazon Reviewer

    Elizabeth Robb

  • “This book was an easy-to-understand guide to the healthcare of the US. As a nursing student, I wanted to become more aware and familiar with this topic. I can’t even begin to express how much this book helped me to further familiarize myself in things that will affect my patients (and all of us) in the future.”

    Amazon Reviewer


  • “Askin and Moore have compiled a plethora of information and delivers in a straightforward and accessible platform. The Health Care Handbook contains the resources that should be part of all health care curricula; but sadly is lacking in most professionals’ training. This publication remediates that educational oversight.”

    Amazon Reviewer


  • “I found this book THE NIGHT BEFORE my medical school interview. It was a quick read and is very informative. I can’t believe how straight-forward and easy to understand it is! I never fully understood insurance and was frustrated with all the biased articles or opinions I’d read. This offered information that was documented and well-supported, without any bias. I recommend this to everyone no matter what their profession.”

    Amazon Reviewer


  • “The book makes it clear from the beginning that many of its topics would not be covered in great depth; honestly, that is likely for the best. While other books may cover the subjects in the chapters more thoroughly, few provide the breadth of knowledge found here. The authors do a nice job cultivating the most important information that a reader might want to know. Each of the five chapters covers a facet of the current healthcare system, objectively describing the pros and cons, and describes how these components will/should/could change in the coming years.

    With the Affordable Care Act upheld, this book is topical, and although specifics might change in the future, many of the ideas presented provide good general knowledge about the health care industry. I would suggest this book for individuals who wish to know more about how the industry functions, seniors who are interested in how their coverage will change through the ACA, and medical school applicants/students.”

    Amazon Reviewer

    T. Nelson

  • “I read this book before my medical school interview to help me out with topics in health care. I am so glad i read the book. It really helped clarify some things I did not know of before. It also helped me get into the medical school of my dreams!”

    Amazon Reviewer


  • “This book is great for a person who wants to better understand how our healthcare “un” system is “un” organized and highly fragmented. Also provides a good introduction to what to expect from the new law. Excellent for persons wanting a better basic understanding of how the health system works.”

    Amazon Reviewer