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Dec 20, 1999
CONTACT: Jamie Court - 310-392-0522 x327 or Andrew Pontio
Commercial Trade Book On HMO Abuses Is Now Free On Internet; Is First Virtual Book Allowing Patients To Submit Their Proposed Additions
Interactive Making A Killing To Be Living Archive of HMO Secrets & ScandalsToday, the authors of Making A Killing: HMOs and the Threat To Your Healthpublished on the Internet the first interactive, virtual book that allows the public to read, at no cost, the text of the authors' muckraking commercial trade publication and submit proposed additions about their own personal travails.
The site dedicated to the book is www.makingakilling.org. Making A Killingwas published in October by Common Courage Press and hailed by Publisher's Weeklyon November 22nd as "one of the most powerful indictments to date of the managed care industry, this scathing exposé…is must reading for anyone concerned with the health of the U.S. medical system." The trade book retails for $16.95 and is available in book stores, on amazon.com, or at commoncouragepress.com.
"Sunshine is the anti-dote to HMO abuse and our indictment of corporate medicine's offenses should not end with an arbitrary publication date," said Jamie Court, co-author of Making A Killingand advocacy director at the non-profit Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights. "The Internet site will allow readers to create a living history of HMO abuses and, hopefully, a chronicle of how HMOs were forced to change their behavior. The epidemic nature of HMO medicine's offenses demands an always-open, ever-vigilant registry of corporate secrets, scandals and reformation. This is low-cost, high-tech democratic action encouraged by a publisher that cares about justice."
Patients, doctors, nurses and whistleblowers with pertinent information to add will be able to submit suggested additions to the book at www.makingakilling.org. The authors will examine the documentation provided by contributors and decide which additions to the text will be made based on whether the submissions: 1) are credible 2) provide a new dimension to the issues already raised 3) document systemic abuses not yet touched upon. The HMOs and managed care corporations named in the submissions will be approached for comment before a selected passage is added, and HMO responses will be included. Reader-amended text will be published in future printings of the trade publication.
"If civil society is to reassert itself over corporate medicine's trespasses, it needs a beacon," said Frank Smith, co-author and Senior Fellow at the Massachusetts-based Institute for A Civil Society. "Makingakilling.org is the place where civil society's demands can be heard."
The impact of the move on book sales is unknown. It could help sell books by creating additional exposure or slow them because the text is available for free. Books posted on the Internet currently are typically not commercial trade publications, but very low cost books, which are often self-published.
"It's a gamble from a business perspective," said Greg Bates, president of Common Courage Press. "Making A Killingraises issues that are about more than money. They are about life and death. This book is too important not to post on the Internet as a rallying point for patients, doctors, nurses and whistleblowers. We are hoping those who find the site will also want a copy of the book on their shelves."
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