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New Book Covers Everything You Want to Know about the U.S. Health Care System

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By Karen Guin

UCF's Lynn Unruh is one of four authors of an exhaustive publication on the United States health system recently published by the World Health Organization's European Observatory on Health Systems and Policies.

The 467-page book, titled United States of America Health Systems in Transition, includes "everything you want to know" about the U.S. health care system, according to the observatory, a multi-national organization within the European branch of WHO.

"The book covers areas often missing from other texts such as dental care, mental health care, public health and complementary medicine," explained Unruh, a professor in the Department of Health Management and Informatics. "It's also unique in focusing on health care in transition, so it includes information about the Affordable Care Act or 'Obamacare.'"

A final plus is that it is now available online for free (, she said.

Unruh's co-authors are Thomas Rice, Fielding School of Public Health, University of California, Los Angeles; Pauline Rosenau, School of Public Health, Health Science Center, University of Texas, Houston; and Andrew J. Barnes, Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine.

Unruh wrote two chapters, "Physical and human resources" and "Provision of services," as well as parts of other chapters, and she reviewed and edited all of the chapters.

United States of America Health Systems in Transition is one in a series of dozens of country-based books on health systems published by the observatory. This is the organization's first book about the U.S. health system.

The HiT series uses a uniform format to describe health systems worldwide and provides a basis for comparison of the U.S. health system in an international perspective, reported the observatory.

Unruh thinks the publication will be useful as a textbook for classes on the U.S. health care system or on comparative health care systems, and as a reference for anyone interested in learning more about the delivery of U.S. health care.

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