Do We Value Treatment over Care?

In this episode of Leading with Health, I explore how differently we value treatment vs. care. Here are the resources I mention in the show:

Highlights include:

2:55 – “In the last three years, for example, the UK statistician has declared that all of that unpaid work is the equivalent of all manufacturing and all retailing in the UK.” Source: Marilyn Waring Tedx Talk

4:54 – “And something that’s very important to know about this accounting framework: they call it ‘accounts,’ but there’s no debit side. We just keep market exchanges going, and it’s all good for growth.” Source: Marilyn Waring Tedx Talk

4:59 – “Now, it might also be becoming obvious to you that this boundary of production works in terms of our environment. When we’re mining it, when we’re deforesting, when we’re deleting our environment, when we’re fishing out our marine resources, legal or illegal, as long as market is exchanged, it’s all good for growth. To leave our natural environment alone, to sustain it, to protect it, is apparently worth nothing.“ Source: Marilyn Waring Tedx Talk

5:33 – JM: “Our healthcare system is grappling with what was originally a very medical treatment-oriented model. Men, who were the doctors, provided treatment. The women, who were the nurses, provided care … and not only care to their patients, but they also provided care to their doctors.”

6:15 – JM: “We can’t rebuild something on the same rickety base.”

6:35 – JM: “I hear people say that patients don’t value good care unless they have to contribute to it. Which I always find very odd because I think the patients do value the care. They just might not pay for it because they kind of feel they are working hard enough in their life, they can’t work any harder and there is enough healthcare in their country, they should be able to access it. Which I kind of think makes sense.”

7:15 “Hospice care is a lucrative business. It is now the most profitable type of health care service that Medicare pays for. According to Medicare data, for-profit hospice agencies now outnumber the nonprofits that pioneered the service in the 1970s. But agencies that need to generate profits for investors aren’t building dedicated hospice units or residences, in general, mostly because such facilities aren’t profitable enough.” Source: Patients Want To Die At Home, But Home Hospice Care Can Be Tough On Families

7:45 – “Home is now the most common place of death, according to new research, and a majority of Medicare patients are turning to hospice services to help make that possible. Fewer Americans these days are dying in a hospital under the close supervision of doctors and nurses.” Source: Patients Want To Die At Home, But Home Hospice Care Can Be Tough On Families

7:58 – JM: “The stats on dying at home sound good except for the unpaid labor. What about lost wages for the people now having to take care of their family? What about those who have to pay out-of-pocket because their insurance doesn’t provide all-day care for a nurse? Or all-night care.”

8:20 – JM: “What is going into making hospice so profitable? Is it because they are actually farming out the actual work to families, as unpaid labor?”

10:36 – JM: “The whole system is wired to put caring on this lower tier.”

11:24 – JM: “When you approach building a healthcare system from the point of how do we want this to feel, you come up with a very, very different result than you do when you talk about cost.”

11:40 – JM: “We are so used to measuring only the market exchange that we don’t even know how to measure the intangibles.”

11:50 – JM: “Kindness is not intangible. It’s just that, so far, we have ignored it as something worth measuring. Our refusal to measure the important things doesn’t mean they are intangible or unmeasurable.”

13:48 – JM: “We are so used to valuing speed and efficiency that we forget that, sometimes, it doesn’t matter. Sometimes it’s irrelevant to the result we’re looking for.”

14:00 – JM: “When we talk about how many doctors and nurses are burned out, we have to ask ourselves, why do we keep thinking a human being is going to be able to handle an onslaught of activity like a machine would? Why do we want humans to act like machines?”

15:10 – JM: “Technology is simply trying to copy what we already have in ourselves, as human beings. Yet we don’t value it in ourselves, we only value the replica.”

16:00 – JM: “Healthcare is shunting patients and providers through this system as if we are machinery.”

17:20 – JM: “Healthcare isn’t separate from society.”

Leading with Health is the podcast where women dive into societal change through the lens of healthcare. Host Jennifer Michelle has a Master’s in Public Health and Epidemiology and is a certified EMT. As President of Michelle Marketing Strategies, Jennifer specializes in healthcare marketing. Jennifer is available to speak at conferences and also provides free marketing consultations. Contact her here.

Photo by Hian Oliveira on Unsplash