Continuing our recent discussion on the price of healthcare in the United States, on this episode we talk with Dr. Martin Makary. Dr. Makary is a surgeon at Johns Hopkins, a best-selling author, and a health policy expert. Dr. Makary’s latest book entitled The Price We Pay: What Broke American Health Care–and How to Fix It, is due out in September. We were so glad to talk with him, because it’s all-too-easy to be jaded about the ‘business’ of healthcare when one in five Americans are in collections over healthcare debt. But Dr. Makary combines outrage at the market forces that have created a used-car-lot sales environment with optimism about healthcare’s future prospects for transparency and fairness. Things are changing, he says! Interestingly, the medical students doing research with him–pouring their hearts, souls, and minds into it–have helped to create that sense of optimism in him. In other words, millennials may be saving American healthcare even as they’re killing the napkin and real estate industries.
On top of all that, while The Price We Pay is an indictment of the insurance and billing practices that hinder the work of doctors and the healing of patients, the book is also a guidebook to the things that can and are being done to restore medicine’s mission.
Dave has been noticing a certain mid-semester droopiness among some students at the College of Medicine. Perhaps, he conjectured, we all need a bit of a pick-me-up. So, Levi Endelman, Issac Schwantes, and new co-host Derek Bradley share things about themselves of which they are proud. Issac isn’t much impressed by Dave’s point of pride. And the boys reminisce about their rural Iowa upbringings, from careening over the ubiquitous gravel roads to romancing atop grain elevators.
This Week in Medical News
Vox has begun collecting data from ER visitors on the resulting bills, so the American Hospital Association issues a warning to its members. And the US opioid epidemic is finally a national emergency, officially. Will the president’s latest proclamation have any effect? Will the American taxpayer get its $57,000 worth?
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