Regarding “Tavenner hailed as an ‘excellent choice,' ” ModernHealthcare.com, Nov. 23: I can't recall a more self-defeating decision regarding a government appointment.
Berwick block is self-defeating, and other letters
Anyone looking objectively at Dr. Donald Berwick's career would see unparalleled accomplishments and advocacy for high-quality, cost-effective care and effective use of information technology. His willingness to deal with the toxic political environment and assume a lead role further reflects his character and dedication to a cause he's championed for decades. If U.S. leaders are not willing to look outside our borders to assess why the U.S. has notoriously inefficient, poor quality care—twice the cost per capita, lowest quality performance across seven leading industrialized countries—how can we be successful in addressing underlying systemic problems? It's a sad day for healthcare and the U.S.
Ann FarrellPrincipalFarrell AssociatesSan Francisco
I have to agree with Ann Farrell's comments. I remember listening to him with admiration at board meetings of the Joint Commission years ago. He was and is a champion for quality in healthcare. What's so wrong in Washington that they can't see and trust expertise, dedication and all the other wonderful qualities that a man such as Don Berwick has displayed for so many years? Why won't they rely on our very best? I assure you, Don Berwick is one of our very best!
Bob RedmanSenior content specialistKaplan Financial EducationChicago
It is deeply disappointing—though not surprising—that Dr. Berwick's nomination has been thoughtlessly stonewalled by certain members of Congress. Dr. Berwick has been an excellent leader of the CMS through challenging times. I hope that the residents of states served by the “stonewalling senators” remember at the next election whose interests their senator chose to protect—for most of them, it will not have been their interests.
Richard MollotExecutive directorLong Term Care Community CoalitionNew York
Re: “Quality conundrum,” (Commentary, Oct. 10): Professor Irwin Press makes some valuable points in defense of patient satisfaction as a quality indicator. There is no argument about whether everyone ought to be held to best practices in clinical care. That said, many of us have seen patients whose diseases are cured but who leave the healthcare system so dissatisfied that they hesitate to interact with the system the next time they really need to and/or leave with actual social, emotional or spiritual wounds that negatively impact their quality of life. Just healing the body is not enough. Patient satisfaction speaks to the concept that the system needs to attend to all dimensions of the patient's experience.
Rev. George HandzoVice presidentHealthCare ChaplaincyNew York
Before I even read the cover, I know that each issue of Modern Healthcare will be divisible into three chapters. Chapter 1 will be about healthcare enterprises and executives making (or losing) many millions of dollars. Chapter 2 will be about current or proposed funding that presents an opportunity to make (or lose) many millions of dollars. Chapter 3 will be the editorial expressing shock, disapproval and dismay that our healthcare system is so obsessed with money.
Dr. Gerard J. VenturaNacogdoches, Texas
Regarding “Denver Health CEO Gabow to retire in 2012,” ModernHealthcare.com, Nov. 1: It goes without saying, but before becoming CEO, Dr. Patricia Gabow was an outstanding physician, mentor and leader. A physician who truly talked the talk and walked the walk. Many a resident benefited from her straightforward, no-nonsense and uncompromising approach to patient care.
Dr. Richard BurrussTri-City Medical CenterOceanside, Calif.
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