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

Advance Praise and Reviews for Why Nobody Believes the Numbers

Advance Praise | Reviews

Advance Praise

"Using equal parts wit and basic arithmetic, Lewis does for invalid outcomes analysis what Upton Sinclair did for meatpacking."

Stuart Altman,
Sol C. Chaikin Professor of National Health Policy,
The Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University;
Chair, Health Industry Forum

"Why Nobody Believes the Numbers marries recreational reading with serious population-based data. Like most serious population-based data, this information reveals that what people thought they knew is simply not the case, with serious implications for private-sector resource allocation and public sector policy. And like most good recreational reading, you won't want to put it down."

Michael Barry MD,
President, Informed Medical Decisions Foundation;
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School

"Let’s use this very enjoyable opportunity to learn from our mistakes instead of trying to torture the data until it confesses. Why Nobody Believes shows how to answer the only question that really matters using valid math: Are our efforts worth the investment?"

Alexandra Drane,
Founder, Chief Visionary, Chair of the Board, Eliza Corporation

"Al Lewis has accomplished the near impossible…written a smart, funny and readable book about outcomes. A proof-based indictment of a faith-based culture, Why Nobody Believes should lift the debate on outcomes validity to a much higher plane, and reward those whose population health programs deliver actual, if modest, results rather than specious, breathless, and often hilariously impossible short-term ROI claims. This is a must read for anyone involved in developing policy or making purchase decisions on programs that try to improve health and save money."

Robert Galvin MD,
Chief Executive Officer, Equity Healthcare (Blackstone Group);
Co-founder, Leapfrog Group; Ffounder, Bridges to Excellence

"The principal lessons of this hilarious book are: (1) You know more than you think you do and (2) the so-called experts know less. Why Nobody Believes shows how a little fifth-grade arithmetic can invalidate much of what passes for outcomes."

Regina Herzlinger,
Nancy R. McPherson Professor of Business Administration,
Harvard Business School

"Why Nobody Believes exposes the poor design and invalid statistics of disease management programs in a credible, user-friendly fashion. The case studies and mathematical proofs show students how to identify and address outcome measurement malpractice. Its entertaining style can keep students’ interest long after they might otherwise have closed the book on the statistical fallacies of study design."

Nancy Kane,
Professor of Management, Associate Dean for Educational Programs,
Harvard School of Public Health

"Why Nobody Believes is an amusing but incisive look at vendor outcomes numbers that don't even come close to adding up and yet are widely accepted. I'd recommend this book to all CFOs and HR executives who want to improve the health of their members but do it cost-effectively."

Dean Karlan,
Professor of Economics, Yale University;

"Only someone like Al Lewis, who has mastered a complex field like outcomes measurement for disease management programs, could write a book that is so funny and so much fun, while being so enlightening."

James Prochaska, Ph.D.
Founder of Pro-Change Behavior Systems, Inc.

"Al Lewis is not only the "inventor of disease management." He is also smarter than a fifth grader, who in turn is apparently smarter than most consultants and vendors in this field. Much of outcomes measurement is like Las Vegas: You know you are getting taken, but you visit anyway. Why Nobody Believes explains how you are being bamboozled by the croupiers of the population health management industry. Caveat emptor no more!"

Dave Rearick DO,
VP of Medical Management,
Marsh & McLennan

"Lewis sugarcoats the bitter medicine of math with a generous amount of humor, making this the most painless lesson in outcomes analysis ever published. The lesson: trust your own judgment. If you are smarter than a fifth-grader, you can determine whether your programs save money."

Tom Scully,
Administrator, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (2001-2003);
Senior Counsel, Alston & Bird;
Partner, Welsh, Carson, Anderson & Stowe

"I don't recall fifth-grade math being this funny. But apparently a lot of vendors and consultants don't recall it at all."

William H. Tobey,
Senior Fellow,
Belfer Center, Harvard University

"Lewis has singlehandedly created what industry committees have failed to create: a how-to guide for valid outcomes analysis, to support vendors, employers, consultants and carriers. It could even be a textbook for Masters in Health Administration programs except it is too much fun to read."

Warren Todd,
former President and Executive Director of the Care Continuum Alliance

"Why Nobody Believes explores hilarious case studies of vendors and health plans whose THC-induced ROI calculations violate every rule of arithmetic, rules that the author notes are strictly enforced. The book then offers some practical advice on contracting and measurement that if followed would enhance the field's credibility and long-range growth prospects."

Tom Underwood,
CEO, Sandata Technologies;
CEO, Alere Health (2010-2012)


"2012 Health Book of the Year"

"To people claiming fictitious healthcare savings, double-Harvard-degreed Lewis is their nemesis: Sherlock Holmes-meets-the Terminator-meets-Dave Barry. His category-bestselling book, Why Nobody Believes the Numbers points out the pure mathematical impossibility of the North Carolina experience, using a combination of sleuthing, humor and an easy-to-follow proof that the consultants’ findings were mathematically impossible two different ways."

"Many of us mortal humans find ourselves, at one time or another, hoodwinked by slick and soothing presentations and sales jobs. Those who have read Al Lewis' Why Nobody Believes the Numbers have no more excuses. When it comes to the claims of self-interested, self-promoting health innovators, our motto should be: don't trust, just verify."

— John McDonough
Senior Advisor on National Health Reform
US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (2008-2010)

"How refreshing it is to have Al Lewis show us, in straightforward and unadulterated language, how to get the numbers right. I wish this book had been available to me a decade ago!"

Fmr. Rep. Nancy Johnson (R-Conn.), Chair of Health Subcommittee (2001 - 2007)

"When you think of ‘funny numbers,’ you think about financial shenanigans. In a sense, that’s what the book is about. But that’s not why I use the phrase. I use it because the book is about numbers, and it’s funny"

"This book is a wonderful read."

"An excellent book that I wish I had ten years ago when I was the Chief Medical Officer of UnitedHealthcare... Thank goodness this book is so darn funny, or else I'd cry at all the time and money we wasted."

"Don't be fooled about pseudo measurement of outcomes, biased studies or self serving research 'conclusions.' ... Please look up [this] really great book"

"Fascinating reading for reader such as myself who may believe that these claims of cost effectiveness appear unreasonable, but who has insufficient knowledge to challenge them."

"Wonderfully entertaining and enlightening"

"This is the best book about health services that I have read since leaving graduate school at Johns Hopkins in 1984. That’s a long time and a lot of literature ago."

"It’s rare that a book about mathematics is funny. And this is not just any math: It’s population health analysis. Al Lewis has created such a book."

"This book was meant for me. Its purpose is to de-myth many of the so-called claim savings scenarios presented in the marketplace...while presenting his findings in a delightfully humorous way. "

"Mr. Lewis does a masterful job of examining the prevailing assumptions underlying the PHM universe by relying on layman's logic, simple examples, real world anecdotes and clever insights."

"I expected the book to be work, not entertainment. I was wrong...Honestly this guy is every bit as funny as Dave Barry! Once the laughter subsided though I reread the book to figure out what the point was, and that is when I realized how important this is to health care, particularly for employers investing in health benefits, including taxpayers."

"[Al Lewis]" may have reached his zenith. Written with...down-to-earth acerbic wit and mathematical savvy."

"I have read a lot of books about health care and business. Or, I should say, I start reading a lot of books about those topics. Many of them lose my interest. Every once in a while a book comes along that not only delivers an important message, but does it in an enlightening or entertaining way. Why Nobody Believes the Numbers is one of these."

— Wendy Lynch PhD, Director, Altarum Center

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