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The Cost of Care

Author: Lemonada Media

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What's your life worth? Healthcare in the United States can bankrupt you, demoralize you—or actually kill you. Healthcare economist David Smith grew up in a Mormon community in Utah, and lost his father, sister, and brother to the same deadly epidemic. He’s spent his career exploring whether their deaths were preventable and how we can make health a priority for everyone. On The Cost of Care, David and his guests – patients, medical experts, and policy makers – reveal how the wealthiest nation on earth ended up with one of the most expensive, worst-performing health care systems in the world and provide solutions to fix it, together.
7 Episodes
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The complications started around week 18 of Marquisse Watson’s pregnancy. Six weeks later, her baby girl Alana was born premature. Marquisse and her husband Antwon had bought the baby clothes, gotten the nursery ready… but Alana passed away 36 hours after she was born. This week, we talk to Marquisse about working through her grief seven years later. We’re joined by Venice Haynes and Meredith Shockley-Smith to talk broadly about social determinants and why black babies are twice as likely to die than white babies.     Resources from the episode: Learn more about Cradle Cincinnati: http://cradlecincinnati.org and Queens Village: https://www.cradlecincinnati.org/queensvillage/  Check out Marquisse and Antwon’s Alana Marie Project: https://thealanamarieproject.com/ Follow the US of Care on twitter: https://twitter.com/USofCare  Read about the US of Care findings on Americans’ health care needs during COVID-19: https://unitedstatesofcare.org/humanizing-the-response-to-covid-19-by-listening-to-people/  Watch the US of Care Voices of Real Life YouTube series: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLchtNczPer_8g7icvpiu2gmVNPr9XPENQ  Keep up with David on twitter @CHIDavidSmith.    Have you been hit with a surprise bill or had an infuriating run-in with the health care system? If you want to submit a patient story, email us at costofcare@lemonadamedia.com or leave us a voicemail at 833-453-6662.    Support for this episode of The Cost of Care comes from Healthline.com, America’s leading digital health brand. Visit healthline.com/costofcare now, and stay connected by following @healthline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Healthline: Powering healthy actions and supporting you on your journey to well-being.   Support for this podcast comes from The Commonwealth Fund, a health care research foundation working to improve the U.S. health system. Visit commonwealthfund.org/costofcare, and stay connected by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Commonwealth Fund: Affordable, quality health care. For everyone.   You can click this link for a full list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows.   To follow along with a transcript and/or take notes for friends and family, go to https://www.lemonadamedia.com/show/thecostofcare/ shortly after the air date.   Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
The healthcare system is basically a lucrative game of tug-of-war among players – and the winner reaps a trillion dollar pot of gold. But is it a fair game? David explores the monstrous “fee-for service system” with Dr. Vivian Lee. Then, Dr. Jill Gross joins David to explore how the results can lead to a total system breakdown.     Resources from the episode: Pick up your own copy of Dr. Lee’s book, The Long Fix: Solving America's Health Care Crisis with Strategies that Work for Everyone – https://wwnorton.com/books/9781324006671  Read more about the “fee-for-service monster” in Dr. Lee’s STAT article – https://www.statnews.com/2020/06/12/fee-for-service-is-a-terrible-way-to-pay-for-health-care-try-a-subscription-model-instead/  Learn more about Dr. Jill Gross at https://www.drjillgross.com/   Keep up with David on twitter @CHIDavidSmith.    Have you been hit with a surprise bill or had an infuriating run-in with the health care system? If you want to submit a patient story, email us at costofcare@lemonadamedia.com or leave us a voicemail at 833-453-6662.    Support for this episode of The Cost of Care comes from Healthline.com, America’s leading digital health brand. Visit healthline.com/costofcare now, and stay connected by following @healthline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Healthline: Powering healthy actions and supporting you on your journey to well-being.   Support for this podcast comes from The Commonwealth Fund, a health care research foundation working to improve the U.S. health system. Visit commonwealthfund.org/costofcare, and stay connected by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Commonwealth Fund: Affordable, quality health care. For everyone.   You can click this link for a full list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows.   To follow along with a transcript and/or take notes for friends and family, go to https://www.lemonadamedia.com/show/thecostofcare/ shortly after the air date.   Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.   See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Lauren Bard’s little girl, Sadie, had a 50/50 chance of survival when she was born 14 weeks premature. Luckily, Lauren is a nurse at Dignity Health, a Catholic hospital, so she had good insurance and knew how to protect herself...or so she thought. Instead, she ended up with a $1.7 million dollar bill. Dr. Ashish Jha also joins David this week to help us figure out how the heck this happened.   Resources from the episode: ProPublica article on Lauren’s journey, by journalist Marshall Allen from Ep. 3: https://www.propublica.org/article/how-one-employer-stuck-a-new-mom-with-a-bill-for-her-premature-baby   Keep up with David on twitter @CHIDavidSmith.    Have you been hit with a surprise bill or had an infuriating run-in with the health care system? If you want to submit a patient story, email us at costofcare@lemonadamedia.com or leave us a voicemail at 833-453-6662.    Support for this podcast comes from The Commonwealth Fund, a health care research foundation working to improve the U.S. health system. Visit commonwealthfund.org/costofcare, and stay connected by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Commonwealth Fund: Affordable, quality health care. For everyone.   You can click this link for a full list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows.   To follow along with a transcript and/or take notes for friends and family, go to https://www.lemonadamedia.com/show/thecostofcare/ shortly after the air date.   Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia.  See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
This week, we’re talking about upcoding, and how it can lead to $11,000 COVID tests, $629 bandaids, and mothers waiting within sprinting distance to the hospital. America has some of the best doctors and hospitals in the world, but many patients are too afraid to walk through the doors for fear of going into unnecessary debt.  Dr. Zachary Sussman, New York Times journalist Sarah Kliff and ProPublica journalist Marshall Allen, who investigate medical billing for a living, join David to shed some light on surprise bills. Keep up with David on twitter @CHIDavidSmith.  Resources from the episode: Share your coronavirus medical bills with Sarah Kliff & the New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/08/03/reader-center/coronavirus-medical-bills.html?smid=rd  Learn more about the $629 band-aid on The Impact, a podcast created and formerly hosted by Sarah: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-curious-case-of-the-%24629-band-aid/id1294325824?i=1000393574994 Read Marshall’s article about Dr. Zachary Sussman’s $10,984 COVID test: https://www.propublica.org/article/how-a-covid-19-test-led-to-charges Pre-order Marshall’s book, Never Pay The First Bill: https://www.marshallallen.com/ Check out Marshall’s Top Doctor award: https://www.instagram.com/lemonadamedia/ Become a better health care consumer with the help of ProPublica’s voices of patient harm: https://www.propublica.org/article/patient-safety-voices-questionnaire-results and Sarah’s reporting for Vox: https://www.vox.com/2019/3/22/18261698/how-to-fight-expensive-medical-bill  Learn more about your surgeon before an operation with ProPublica’s Surgeon Scorecard: https://projects.propublica.org/surgeons/  Keep up with David on twitter @CHIDavidSmith.  Have you been hit with a surprise bill or had an infuriating run-in with the health care system? If you want to submit a patient story, email us at costofcare@lemonadamedia.com or leave us a voicemail at 833-453-6662.  Support for this episode of The Cost of Care comes from Healthline.com, America’s leading digital health brand. Visit healthline.com/costofcare now, and stay connected by following @healthline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Healthline: Powering healthy actions and supporting you on your journey to well-being.  Support for this podcast comes from The Commonwealth Fund, a health care research foundation working to improve the U.S. health system. Visit commonwealthfund.org/costofcare, and stay connected by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Commonwealth Fund: Affordable, quality health care. For everyone. You can click this link for a full list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows. To follow along with a transcript and/or take notes for friends and family, go to https://www.lemonadamedia.com/show/thecostofcare/ shortly after the air date. Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
1. The Doomsday Clock

1. The Doomsday Clock

2021-04-1546:22

David Smith watched as chronic pain and addiction transformed his loving father into a vengeful man who was unrecognizable. David has spent a lifetime trying to outrun his father’s fate - but now he’s looking for answers. How can we build a better healthcare system and stop the cycle of sickness, trauma and loss? In episode one, we explore his family’s story, covering everything from childhood tragedy and generational trauma to opioid abuse and Mormon excommunication.    Keep up with David on twitter @CHIDavidSmith.    Have you been hit with a surprise bill or had an infuriating run-in with the health care system? If you want to submit a patient story, email us at costofcare@lemonadamedia.com or leave us a voicemail at 833-453-6662.    Support for this episode of The Cost of Care comes from Healthline.com, America’s leading digital health brand. Visit healthline.com/costofcare now, and stay connected by following @healthline on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Healthline: Powering healthy actions and supporting you on your journey to well-being.    Support for this podcast comes from The Commonwealth Fund, a health care research foundation working to improve the U.S. health system. Visit commonwealthfund.org/costofcare, and stay connected by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Commonwealth Fund: Affordable, quality health care. For everyone.   You can click this link for a full list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows.   To follow along with a transcript and/or take notes for friends and family, go to https://www.lemonadamedia.com/show/thecostofcare/ shortly after the air date.   Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
2. Sickness = Profit

2. Sickness = Profit

2021-04-1542:441

Unpredictable chaos adds up to something over time. That’s David Smith’s story, and it’s also the origin story behind our broken health care system. This week, we explore why sickness pays and health doesn’t, and how we got here in the first place. Our guests this episode are economic historian Melissa Thomasson, health care journalist Elisabeth Rosenthal and futurist Ian Morrison.    Keep up with David on twitter @CHIDavidSmith.    Resources from the episode: Learn more about the history of our health care system from Melissa Thomasson on Planet Money  Elisabeth Rosenthal’s book, An American Sickness Bill of the Month series, a Kaiser Health News + NPR collaboration   Keep up with David on twitter @CHIDavidSmith.    Have you been hit with a surprise bill or had an infuriating run-in with the health care system? If you want to submit a patient story, email us at costofcare@lemonadamedia.com or leave us a voicemail at 833-453-6662.    Support for this podcast comes from The Commonwealth Fund, a health care research foundation working to improve the U.S. health system. Visit commonwealthfund.org/costofcare, and stay connected by following us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Commonwealth Fund: Affordable, quality health care. For everyone.   You can click this link for a full list of current sponsors and discount codes for this show and all Lemonada shows.   To follow along with a transcript and/or take notes for friends and family, go to https://www.lemonadamedia.com/show/thecostofcare/ shortly after the air date.   Stay up to date with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram at @LemonadaMedia. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Trying to navigate the American healthcare system as a patient is a high-stakes game. One wrong move can leave you ruined. Starting April 15th, host David Smith speaks with people crushed by one of the most expensive and worst performing systems in the world, and helps lead us out of this maze-like system that values sickness over health. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
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