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Society & Culture

Drexel Experts to Explore and Critique American Health Care at Upcoming Book Event

January 14, 2014

Barry Furrow directs Drexel's Health Law Program
Furrow, director of Drexel’s Health Law Program, will join Field to discuss the American health care system

President Obama’s historic health care law, the Affordable Care Act, went into effect on Jan. 1, dramatically altering the nation's health care landscape. Amidst the rollout of the embattled law, Drexel University’s School of Law will host a book signing and discussion with nationally known health law scholars Robert I. Field, PhD, and Barry R. Furrow.

The event will take place on Wednesday, Jan. 22, from 5 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. in the law school’s Room 140 (3320 Market St.). It is free and open to the public. ***UPDATE: This event has been postponed due to inclement weather. It will now take place Thursday, Jan. 30 from 5 p.m. - 6:30 p.m. in Room 140.

Field will discuss and sign copies of his new book, Mother of Invention: How the Government Created ‘Free-Market’ Health Care, published by Oxford University Press in November 2013. He holds a joint appointment with the law school and the School of Public Health.

The book presents a provocative perspective on the government’s longstanding importance in American health care, long predating Obamacare. A review by The Philadelphia Inquirer called the book “compelling.” Field has provided expert commentary on this topic for national media outlets, including NPR, MSNBC and Al Jazeera America.

Furrow will discuss and sign copies of his book, Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems. In its 7th edition, this remains the authoritative book on the subject of health law and has been used for decades in law schools across the U.S. Furrow is the lead author and director of Drexel’s Health Law Program.

Furrow is the lead author of <i>Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems</i>For more than two decades, Health Law has defined the field of health law, providing a balanced overview of law as it affects patients, professionals, institutions, and entities that deliver and finance U.S. health care. The book comprehensively reviews the provisions of the Affordable Care Act with topics such as the oversight of quality (including the latest developments in patient safety), cost control (including consumer-directed health care), guarantees of adequate access to services, exempt-organization tax issues, transactions and relationships among health care professionals and providers, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) and malpractice litigation.

Written without a policy bias to fairly reflect all viewpoints, Health Law considers legal and ethical issues involving death, human reproduction, medical treatment decision making and medical research. It also explores the government's efforts to control costs and expand access through Medicare and Medicaid and examines government attempts to police anticompetitive activities, fraud, and abuse. Using carefully edited primary materials and effective classroom-tested problems, the book exposes students to the core issues in health law using the most recent judicial and statutory materials.Field's new book, <i>Mother of Invention: How the Government Created ‘Free-Market’ Health Care</i>, was published by Oxford University Press in November 2013

In his new book, Mother of Invention, Field makes the claim that the government cannot take over American health care because it has been running the system for decades. In the book, he describes Obamacare as a natural next step in the country’s health care evolution rather than the government takeover that critics claim it to be.

Mother of Invention traces the government's role in building four key health care sectors into the financial powerhouses they are today: the pharmaceutical industry, hospitals, the medical profession and private insurance. Field explores their history, surveys their growth and highlights some of their greatest success stories, which together reveal the pivotal importance of public initiatives in securing the industry’s remarkable prosperity.

“Weaving history and crisp analysis, Professor Field brilliantly helps us to understand how government's massive roles in policy, payment and regulation have created the exigencies of the American health care system and its marketplace. His conclusions affirm that this reality will shape all viable solutions going forward,” said Gary L. Gottlieb, president and chief executive officer of Partners HealthCare System, Inc., and a professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School.

Robert Field holds a joint appointment with Drexel's School of Law and the School of Public HealthA nationally recognized expert on health policy and public health, Field holds a joint appointment as a professor of law in Drexel’s School of Law and a professor of health management and policy in the School of Public Health. He also teaches health law at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. His first book, Health Care Regulation in America: Complexity, Confrontation and Compromise, a comprehensive guide to the government's role in regulating health care, was published by Oxford University Press in 2006. Field also writes a regular blog, “The Field Clinic,” on health reform and health policy for the Philadelphia Inquirer.

Furrow is a pioneer in the field of health law. In addition to Health Law: Cases, Materials and Problems, he is also co-author of the treatise, “Health Law,” which the U.S. Supreme Court has cited three times. Furrow came to Drexel from Widener University School of Law, where he founded the Health Law Institute and earned the Jay Healey Distinguished Health Law Teaching Award from the American Society of Law, Medicine and Ethics. He also served as interim dean and dean of faculty at Widener University School of Law. Previously, Furrow directed the Health Law Center at the University of Detroit School of Law. Furrow currently is an associate of the Center for Bioethics of the University of Pennsylvania. He is an editorial board member and former editor-in-chief of Law, Medicine & Health Care.

Media Contact:

Alex McKechnie