Can we study the experiences of one nation and adapt them to another? Can a solution for one population be expanded to meet needs of others? Are there universal principles that may be applied? What kind of understanding is required to do so?
In the current issue of CHEST (see page 695), Stuart and Weinrich challenge readers to reflect on these questions and compare France and America. The authors describe the long-term care crisis we face in America and argue why we have an opportunity now to “fix it” due to the US Supreme Court Olmstead decision (judicial mandate) and the President’s “New Freedom Initiative” (political support). The authors have sought international best practices as models for development of integrated community health systems for high-cost patients in the United States. They have described the background, evolution, and successes in the French regional approach to chronic respiratory insufficiency, and suggest France may provide lessons for a more global chronic care model for America.