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State will have its metrics — people and their caregivers, meanwhile, will have their daily challenges

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Jennifer McNary (“How health care systems do, and do not, support patients,” Opinion, Nov. 22) reports that the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review has entered into a contract with the Massachusetts Health Policy Commission for the purpose of controlling costs, and she raises concerns over the effects on individuals as they seek treatment deemed of no “value” according to certain metrics.

What would be refreshing, almost humane, would be a consideration not only of the individuals seeking care but also of their caregivers and the value that provider-recommended treatments bring to the entire family constellation.

In such a world, there would be a reduction in stress, ease of physical care when therapeutic equipment is secured, added time caring for family members, and perhaps even a moment for a cup of tea.


Instead, the dynamic one can expect from the contract McNary cites ensures that we caregivers will spend additional hours battling for services and treatment that will keep our loved ones and us healthy. Fewer options for the people in our care means increased workloads for us. And when this results in rising costs as caregivers seek treatment for their own emotional and physical issues as well as deal with loss of income, will the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review take note?

Judith T. Heerlein