Note by James R. Martin, Ph.D., CMA
Professor Emeritus, University of South Florida
This book (originally published in 2000) is promoted as a textbook/novel applicable as a supplement to an intermediate or advanced cost accounting course. The novel portion of the book (also a murder mystery) introduces service industry cost accounting, a topic frequently neglected in traditional cost accounting textbooks. The story involves a hospital diagnostic related group (DRG) cost accounting system. According to the authors, the principles taught can be applied to most service industries.
Notes from the Preface:
A textbook novel can provide a number of advantages over the traditional approach to education:
1. A smoother transition from the academic world to the real world of work.
2. Enhanced learning where ideas are applied in real-world settings.
3. Richer and more meaningful classroom discussions.
4. The format for better integration of topics.
5. A better way to examine ideas from different viewpoints and perspectives.
6. A way to illustrate conflict resolution in high-stress environments.
7. An effective method of promoting critical thinking.
8. An approach that provides students with experience in resolving ethical issues.
9. A more interesting class environment for enhancing students' communication skills.
10. A more effective teaching-learning pedagogy.
Topics covered include:
The history of the American healthcare delivery system.
The history and theory of managed care.
The Affordable Care Act of 2010.
Pay for performance
An exploration of the question of Why are costs so high?
An introduction to legal and ethical issues in healthcare.
Total quality management.
The effect of technology on cost and quality
Legislation and regulation.
Critical thinking and problem solving.
The role of the professional
Power and politics in healthcare organizations.
Quality, safety, and risk management.
Medical and administrative terminology.
The book includes forty chapters. See the first five chapters of the 2013 edition. (pdf file).
Bast, J. L., R. C. Rue and S. A. Wesbury Jr. 1993. Why we spend too much on Health Care and what we can do about it. Heartland Institute. (Summary).
Cohen, F. 2011. Improving processes in your practice: Do the same thing with less, or more with the same thing with lean six sigma and lean principles in your toolbox. Medical Economics (June): 60-62,-67-69. (Note).
Kershaw, R. 2000. Using TOC to ‘cure’ healthcare problems. Management Accounting Quarterly (Spring): 22-28. (Summary).
Lyons, B., A. Gumbus and D. E. Bellhouse. 2003. Aligning capital investment decisions with the balanced scorecard. Journal of Cost Management (March/April): 34-38. (Summary).
MacArthur, J. B. and H. A. Stranahan. 1998. Cost driver analysis in hospitals: A simultaneous equations approach. Journal of Management Accounting Research (10): 279-312. (Summary).
West, T. D. and D. A. West. 1997. Applying ABC to healthcare. Management Accounting (February): 22, 24-26, 28-30, 32-33. (Summary).