The reviews are coming in
and the verdict is clear:

Cracking Health Costs and
Why Nobody Believes the Numbers
are the best books ever written.*

* By me

Cracking Health Costs

Cracking Health Costs is the "sequel" to Why Nobody Believes the Numbers: Distinguishing Fact from Fiction in Population Health Management, which in addition to glowing endorsements and reviews recently won recognition from Forbes as Healthcare Book of the Year.

If Why Nobody Believes describes some dishonest and often hilarious claims that vendors, consultants and carriers make to convince you to think you are saving money, Cracking Health Costs will offer some action steps to get costs down, now – while actually improving the employee experience with your health benefit. Cracking Health Costs will provide a step-by-step how-to guide on setting up company-sponsored centers of excellence, controlling specialist referrals, coordinating care and undertaking many other strategies, all with positive ROIs…but also gives advice on how to avoid slick-talking salespeople and consultants offering products and services that don’t come close to a breakeven but sound very sexy in the proposals.

Tom Emerick (who ran global health benefits for WalMart and now blogs at and I have scoured the country finding best practices, and interviewing the experts who've honed them into art forms, sharing the mistakes they (and Tom and I) have made, so you don't have to. Cracking Health Costs is not an academic policy rant, but rather the first-ever practical guidebook that any benefits manager, CFO or CEO of any size self-insured company can use now to control large categories of health expense which have hitherto gone unmanaged.

You'll start saving immediately, by applying our insights on centers of excellence, wellness, ACOs and PCMHs, incentive payments, medication therapy management, and more. Sometimes by implementing them, but more often by not implementing them. Easy arithmetic shows that PCMHs, for example, can't possibly break even under normal assumptions. And wellness, as Why Nobody Believes the Numbers also describes in very humorous detail, is the biggest crock that vendors, brokers and consultants have ever perpetrated upon HR departments, which is a tough distinction to achieve given all the competition for that “honor.”

Cracking Health Costs can be purchased on Amazon, and if you have any doubts just read the early reviews from Insurance News, the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism and Paul Levy's blog, Not Running a Hospital

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