Local surgeon and health-care writer supreme Atul Gawande recently had a typically superb piece in The New Yorker, about projects to improve care — and cut costs — for the sickest, most expensive patients. (You can now read it without a subscription.) Now he’s responding to three different stripes of criticism that the piece raised.
The piece prompted objections from “defeatists,” “catastrophists” and “triumphalists,”he writes here on the New Yorker’s site. The defeatists don’t believe that the high-intensity methods he describes will ever be widely applied in the health care system. The catastrophists think the increased medical hand-holding he writes about can amount to unacceptable government intrusion in people’s lives. And “the triumphalists” think this intense style of care should be offered to everyone, not just the sickest patients.
(Below, an oldie but goodie)