Archive for April, 2010
Kent Bottles: Conflict and Tension Due to Boomers, Gen Xers, and Gen Yers Working Together in Health Care
Last week I gave a presentation to the South Dakota MGMA annual meeting in Sioux Falls. I was able to attend other talks on generational differences in the work place and the conflict that can happen between health care workers of different ages. (http://ow.ly/1DOrv)
I have to confess, Homer Simpson and I have something in common. It is potentially a trait which will have significant impact on how we design health care. It is an area of focus which we’ll have to deal with if we are ever to succeed. Despite the fact that I’ve had more than seven years of post graduate education, more than 30 years of experience in caring for patients, Homer and I have something in common which will potentially be an area of challenge in our work in engaging patients in actively managing their health. Oh, by the way, I think most of you are closer to Homer than you think. That is, if you’re human (OK, he’s a cartoon character, but play along with the analogy), because it is that trait which unfortunately will complicate our best efforts.
I’m sitting in the airport in Washington, DC after having been invited to participate in a two-day workshop put on by NIH, in combination with practically every other acronym-associated national health agency I’m aware of, and perhaps some with which I’m not. It’s a bit heady for a long-time small town internist who’s had the unique opportunity to work at ICSI for 8 ½ years.
What does memory have to do with health care reform? A lot. My left wing friends would do well to remember that the public option is not really all that important and that Paul Starr has said why in the New York Times op-ed pages (http://ow.ly/1wOOQ). My right wing friends should remember that the recently passed health care reform law is really similar to those advocated by Richard Nixon before the Watergate troubles, and the Massachusetts law that Governor Mitt Romney signed into law.
Charles M. Blow documents that President Obama’s sales job for the health care reform law has so far resulted in his lowest approval ratings on health care (34%) since taking office. Blow writes that: “This underscores the current fight for the soul of this country. It’s not just a tug of war between left and right. It’s a struggle between the mind and the heart, between evidence and emotions, between reason and anger, between what we know and what we believe.”
And so it’s here. Despite all the vitriol, the threats, the immediate reflexive actions, the health care reform bill is now law. I was extremely impressed that many seemed to have been able to analyze the 2,500+ page law, and draw immediate conclusions as to the implications of its passage. I claim no such insights and wisdom. But my brain often works in ways that confuse me, if not others, and causes me to think in ways that often make no sense, or at times make too much sense.