Having acknowledged that both physicians and institutions have efficiencies still available for them, let me point out what is the deeper problem we have when caring for
our ill, the sabotage of ex-hospital care by the insurance industry.
But, in looking back at the past, those whose passion is caring for
our elderly and chronically ill can take heart in just how far we have come.
Despite the flurry of dutiful, largely obeisant press coverage, it is hardly news when politicians surround themselves with children and bravely pledge, as did the first lady, to "make it clear that we want American parents to succeed at the most important task they have, caring for
the next generation." The real scoop is that the vast majority of parents are careful consumers of child care, are satisfied with their arrangements, and are likely to view increased government involvement or oversight with great skepticism.
We found ourselves with "units" caring for
SCI patients when what we wanted was a seamless continuum of care.
And we must look beyond care of the individual patient, share our knowledge and collaborate with other stakeholders in caring for
the population as a whole.
One may even make the case that caring for
a patient in assisted living facilities is less costly than caring for
a patient at home.