What Higher Ed Can Learn From Health Care

Check out my recent interview with The Chronicle of Higher Education about the rising costs of education and healthcare:

For decades, higher education has come under public scrutiny for rising costs. But there is at least one other sector that seems to feel even more heat from policy makers and ire from the public. That sector is health care — and the parallels are not lost on Peter Ubel, a physician who is a professor in Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business.

“I realize that I’ve been making my living off both education and health care, and they’re the parts of the economy where the cost has gone up far faster than overall inflation, and I’ve benefited my whole career,” he says. “So I feel guilty on both counts.”

He’s doing something to address that guilt. Ubel’s new book, Sick to Debt, describes the economics of health care and the decision-making of patients, and offers some solutions that could help both society and individuals save money. Health care’s changes have in many ways mirrored those in higher ed: Just as colleges have turned to adjuncts and distance education, hospitals now rely more on physician assistants and technology, like telemedicine, to help scale their services. Small hospitals and clinics are also increasingly consolidating, an outcome that seems likely for the nation’s small institutions.

(To read the full interview, please visit The Chronicle for Higher Education.)

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