Foreword Reviews

Beyond Fear

How I Fought the Feds for Six Years—and Won

Clarion Rating: 4 out of 5

Beyond Fear is fascinating tell-all memoir that covers a rare victory over the medical industrial complex.

Ted Giovanis’s informative memoir Beyond Fear is about taking on the US government and its dizzying medical power.

Born in Baltimore in 1945, Giovanis grew up in the city’s Greek community, enjoying an average, middle-class life. He attended Catholic and public schools, spent time chasing girls, and served in the army during the Vietnam War. The one stain was the death of his spouse, which occurred after he took an important new job as the chief financial officer for the Southern Maryland Medical Center. Though he didn’t know it at the time, that career move led him into a one man war for more transparency in Medicare billing.

The book is most about Giovanis’s court case. In 2006, he sent an email with little expectation of receiving a reply. In it, he asked how Medicare created reimbursement rates for certain hospitals. Rather than be ignored, the email touched off a conflagration: a hidden detail in the response email led to a six-year court case, resulting in a near impossible victory over the Medicare industrial complex, or the semi-corrupt world of doctors, lobbyists, pill companies, and politicians.

The book balances personal accounts with pure reportage. Its more intimate elements make up a smaller portion of its room, with notes about Giovanis’s upbringing comprising a single chapter; only the death of his wife is discussed at great length. The book is much more concerned with the labyrinthine court battle, wherein it devotes space to sweeping summations of America’s health care carnival. Giovanis discusses the power of health care lobbyists in Washington, D.C., Medicare’s obfuscating policies, and the system’s lack of interest in being clear to average Americans.

Giovanis’s chapters are short, thematic, and to the point; their language is blunt and informal. Approached as a brief introduction to the practices of the medical industry, this is an effective and accessible work, and its bold assertions are backed up by footnotes and research. By its end, Beyond Fear seems to be the heroic narrative of an honest bureaucrat whose decision to sacrifice six years of his work to a good fight resulted in a three billion dollar award to hospitals—a conclusion that is both unusual and satisfying.

Beyond Fear is fascinating tell-all memoir that covers a rare victory over the medical industrial complex.

Reviewed by Benjamin Welton

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The publisher of this book provided free copies of the book and paid a small fee to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. Foreword Reviews and Clarion Reviews make no guarantee that the publisher will receive a positive review. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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