PRESCRIPTION FOR PROFIT

HOW DOCTORS DEFRAUD MEDICAID

A hard-hitting, well-documented exposÇ of how physicians milk the Medicaid system. The cost of Medicaid fraud is unknown, but every year about two hundred physicians are suspended from the program because of fraudulent or abusive practices. The authors (all professors at the School of Social Ecology at the University of California, Irvine) look at these violations and examine the system that has provided the opportunity for them as well as the backgrounds of doctors who commit them. (Some of the violations are outrageous: bills for therapy while the therapist, a psychiatrist, was having sex with a patient; bills for abortions on nonpregnant women.) Medicaid's fee-for-service system makes fraud easy: By simply checking a box on a form, a doctor (or a billing clerk) can charge for services not performed. Meanwhile, ripping off the government apparently doesn't create guilt feelings: Interviews with 42 physicians reveal that these M.D.s see themselves as the innocent victims of bad laws and bureaucratic interference. And the medical fraternity has taken a relatively benign attitude toward Medicaid fraud, with state regulatory boards rarely revoking licenses of apprehended physicians. The authors offer no quick solution to the problem, noting that tension between government regulation and professional norms of behavior is growing. Finally, they look at the health-care systems of Great Britain, Canada, and Australia, to consider how they cope with fraud, concluding that the problem can be solved only through structural changes in the delivery of health-care services. Exactly what changes are necessary remains unclear. More fuel for the debate on health-care reform, filled with horror stories that can't help but add to the public's growing disillusionment with doctors.

Pub Date: July 1, 1993

ISBN: 0-520-07614-1

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Univ. of California

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1993

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Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

SEVERAL SHORT SENTENCES ABOUT WRITING

New York Times columnist and editorial board member delivers a slim book for aspiring writers, offering saws and sense, wisdom and waggery, biases and biting sarcasm.

Klinkenborg (Timothy; or, Notes of an Abject Reptile, 2006), who’s taught for decades, endeavors to keep things simple in his prose, and he urges other writers to do the same. (Note: He despises abuses of the word as, as he continually reminds readers.) In the early sections, the author ignores traditional paragraphing so that the text resembles a long free-verse poem. He urges readers to use short, clear sentences and to make sure each one is healthy before moving on; notes that it’s acceptable to start sentences with and and but; sees benefits in diagramming sentences; stresses that all writing is revision; periodically blasts the formulaic writing that many (most?) students learn in school; argues that knowing where you’re headed before you begin might be good for a vacation, but not for a piece of writing; and believes that writers must trust readers more, and trust themselves. Most of Klinkenborg’s advice is neither radical nor especially profound (“Turn to the poets. / Learn from them”), and the text suffers from a corrosive fallacy: that if his strategies work for him they will work for all. The final fifth of the text includes some passages from writers he admires (McPhee, Oates, Cheever) and some of his students’ awkward sentences, which he treats analytically but sometimes with a surprising sarcasm that veers near meanness. He includes examples of students’ dangling modifiers, malapropisms, errors of pronoun agreement, wordiness and other mistakes.

Analyzing his craft, a careful craftsman urges with Thoreauvian conviction that writers should simplify, simplify, simplify.

Pub Date: Aug. 7, 2012

ISBN: 978-0-307-26634-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Knopf

Review Posted Online: May 14, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 2012

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MOMOFUKU MILK BAR

With this detailed, versatile cookbook, readers can finally make Momofuku Milk Bar’s inventive, decadent desserts at home, or see what they’ve been missing.

In this successor to the Momofuku cookbook, Momofuku Milk Bar’s pastry chef hands over the keys to the restaurant group’s snack-food–based treats, which have had people lining up outside the door of the Manhattan bakery since it opened. The James Beard Award–nominated Tosi spares no detail, providing origin stories for her popular cookies, pies and ice-cream flavors. The recipes are meticulously outlined, with added tips on how to experiment with their format. After “understanding how we laid out this cookbook…you will be one of us,” writes the author. Still, it’s a bit more sophisticated than the typical Betty Crocker fare. In addition to a healthy stock of pretzels, cornflakes and, of course, milk powder, some recipes require readers to have feuilletine and citric acid handy, to perfect the art of quenelling. Acolytes should invest in a scale, thanks to Tosi’s preference of grams (“freedom measurements,” as the friendlier cups and spoons are called, are provided, but heavily frowned upon)—though it’s hard to be too pretentious when one of your main ingredients is Fruity Pebbles. A refreshing, youthful cookbook that will have readers happily indulging in a rising pastry-chef star’s widely appealing treats.    

 

Pub Date: Oct. 25, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-307-72049-8

Page Count: 256

Publisher: Clarkson Potter

Review Posted Online: Jan. 13, 2012

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2011

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