John O’Connor

We humans like to believe we are cool-headed, logical thinkers. And that our oversize brains allow us to clearly size up situations so we can act appropriately.

That may be true a lot of the time. But not all the time. When we don’t like what we see or hear, most of us can turn on the raging cave man/cave woman switch awfully fast.

Although we are loath to admit it, most of us are driven more by emotion and self-interest than anything resembling analytical instincts. That’s especially the case when we are stressed out or angry. Anybody who has ever watched the parent of a modestly talented child badger a coach for more playing time knows what I mean.

So does anyone who has had to sit quietly while a half-informed boss threw a world-class hissy fit.

Consider the level of discourse regarding the upcoming presidential election: The general proposition from both sides is essentially the same: The other candidate is awful. That’s hardly an elevated dialogue, is it?

Not that this field is ever immune to a parochial mindset. Consider this simple question: Where is the best place for long-term care to be delivered?

Ask a nursing facility operator, and the answer will be a nursing facility.

Ask a senior living operator, and the answer will be a senior living community. Ask a Medicare Advantage insurance company, and the answer will be whatever is cheapest.

You get the point. Same question, different stakes. Ergo, different answers.

For in healthcare as in so many other things, it usually comes down to whose ox is getting gored.

No John, you’re wrong!  Long-term care is all about serving the care recipient in the best possible setting at an economical cost. We’re all in this together.

Sure. And little Billy really should get to pitch more.

John O’Connor is Editorial Director for McKnight’s