Here’s an eye opening interview.
Puts flesh on the bones of the suspicion that a medical system that puts profits above all else is a humanitarian disaster in the making.
How U.S. Health Care Became Big Business
April 10, 2017, 36:03 min
Terry Gross - Fresh Air
Health care is a trillion-dollar industry in America, but are we getting what we pay for? Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal, a medical journalist who formerly worked as a medical doctor, warns that the existing system too often focuses on financial incentives over health or science.
“We’ve trusted a lot of our health care to for-profit businesses and it’s their job, frankly, to make profit,” Rosenthal says. “You can’t expect them to act like Mother Teresas.”
Rosenthal’s new book, An American Sickness, examines the deeply rooted problems of the existing health-care system and also offers suggestions for a way forward. She notes that under the current system, it’s far more lucrative to provide a lifetime of treatments than a cure.
“One expert in the book joked to me ... that if we relied on the current medical market to deal with polio, we would never have a polio vaccine,” Rosenthal says. “Instead we would have iron lungs in seven colors with iPhone apps.”
On what consolidation of hospitals is doing to the price of care
On the ways the health-care industry stands to profit more from lifetime treatment than it does from curing disease
On how prices will rise to whatever the market will bear
On initiating conversations early on with doctors about fees and medical bills
On getting charged for “drive-by doctors” brought in by the hospital or primary doctor
On how to decipher coded medical bills
Elizabeth Rosenthal is editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation and a partner of NPR’s. Neither KFF nor KHN is affiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Radio producer Sam Briger and web producers Bridget Bentz and Molly Seavy-Nesper contributed to this story.
Sieg Heil Profit (Maximization), f the people