During a June 22 general session at AHIP 2012, author Malcolm Gladwell espoused that the health care industry, unlike virtually every other industry, has not been able to eliminate the “chauffeur” in the care system, to the financial and clinical detriment of the country.

Gladwell, who penned Blink and The Tipping Point, among other books, opened with the trajectory of chauffeurs during the advent of the automobile. When cars first came to market, chauffeurs were critical for the rich because chauffeurs, unlike coachmen, understood and were responsible for the operation of a  complex new technology that was a mystery to others. They used that leverage to earn much higher wages than coachmen, as well as higher status in the social hierarchy. But as cars became commoditized, more reliable and less complex to operate, chauffeurs quickly lost that status as the wealthy began to drive their own cars—that is, the customer assumed control.

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