News Headlines Article

My dad’s cancer has made it clear: Our health care system is sick
The Houston Chronicle

I’m driving my 90-year-old father to and from the doctor. It used to be the other way around, parents driving kids. I was a mostly healthy kid and teenager, but when I needed stitches or medicine, I was always impatient with the process, ready to go home, ready to start playing baseball again.

Dad is just as eager to get home now as I was then, but there are differences. He isn’t going to play ball. He’s heading home from MD Anderson as part of a treatment cycle for cancer. And he’s old enough that cancer isn’t the only disease we’re trying to help him manage; there are his congestive heart failure and failing kidneys, too.

As the CEO of a health plan connected to a large hospital system, I regularly hear stories about the challenges of patients trying to navigate the health care system. I fall into the trap we all encounter: We think that when it is our turn to go down the rabbit hole of health care, we will know how it all works, and we will do better than those who don’t live it every day.