Gawande on Cowboys and Pit Crews
One of you will be the first institution, to lower healthcare costs. It hasn't happened yet."
In closing, he offered a personal anecdote to illustrate the seriousness of the problem:
"My son was having trouble at school, and I was upset that he was stuck in a class of 30 where he was getting lost. So I approached the school superintendant after a school board meeting and asked what he was doing to lower class size. He said, 'do you know what I spend most of my time doing? Figuring out how to fight rising healthcare costs.'"
"Oh, I said. The system had a cap on taxes and so had to take from other areas to pay for healthcare. I operated on one of the teachers there for lymphoma. She's doing well, but I realized she and I were one of the reasons costs were going up so fast for the school system. The choice should not be whether my son gets enough time or whether that teacher gets great lymphoma care.
Philip Betbeze is senior leadership editor with HealthLeaders Media.
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