The Cost of Cutting

The Cost of Cutting

A Surgeon Reveals the Truth Behind a Multibillion-Dollar Industry

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Additional Formats
  • Paperback
  • ISBN 9780425272312
  • 320 Pages
  • Berkley
  • Adult


Why is surgery so expensive?
Surgeon Paul A. Ruggieri reveals little-known truths about his profession—and the hidden flaws of our healthcare system—in this compelling and troubling account of real patients, real doctors, and how money influences medical decisions behind the scenes. Even many well-informed patients have no idea what may be contributing to the cost of their surgery. With up-to-date research and stories from his practice, Ruggieri shows how business arrangements among hospitals, insurance companies, and surgeons affect who gets treatment—and whether they get the right treatment. Pulling back the curtain from the hospital bed, he explains how to safeguard one’s own health (and finances), and how America can make surgery more affordable for all without sacrificing quality care.


“Surgeon Ruggieri tutors readers on the economic forces that make the surgical theater tick. Ruggieri is a fine storyteller, which is a good thing, for although he peppers the book with dramatic anecdotes from his practice, his real exploration focuses on the financial side of the medical equation… Top-shelf instruction on the mechanics of the medical economy.”—Kirkus Reviews 

“A vital conversation about money in medicine that we have not had, but desperately need to have. A deeply personal and powerful analysis with sweeping implications for addressing waste in medicine. Dr. Ruggieri challenges why healthcare continues to have an expensive carve-out to the same accountably principles that govern other industries. He offers serious ways to cut waste and increase value by making medicine more patient-centered, more efficient, and more transparent.”—Marty Makary MD, Johns Hopkins surgeon and author of Unaccountable

Praise for Confessions of a Surgeon
“Honest and angry, this cutting memoir by a midcareer surgeon feels like an act of penitence.”—Booklist

“Looks hard at a profession that is changing in ways that Ruggieri does not always find to be positive…[a] look into a corner of medicine we seldom see.”—Providence Journal