Time to Wrestle with Financing Our Healthcare System

The author suggests that hospital systems be managed as public utilities to deal with the spiraling use of expensive technology.

   Michael C. Huntington, MD

 Michael C. Huntington, MD

by: Dr. Michael C. Huntington for The Lund Report, Dec. 23, 2013

OPINION -- At the cancer center where I worked for 22 years, we took pride in the good care we gave patients and in the technology that helped us provide that care. Our staff at the cancer center was and is excellent, caring, and effective at controlling cancer and relieving symptoms caused by cancer. But there is a dark side to this story.

Love of technology is part of our American culture. We expect that technology should always be able to make our lives better and even save us from suffering and death. At the cancer center we were steeped in technology. Each new advance in computerized planning and radiation treatment captured our imaginations and reinforced our feelings that we were helping our patients more as we implemented these new techniques year-by-year. In addition we knew we needed to stay competitive with cancer centers in neighboring communities.