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Why are health care costs kept so secret? And medical bills so hard to understand?
When you buy a car, book a flight, or put things in your grocery cart, you not only know the price in advance, but you can also shop around for the best price.
But for most health care services you can’t. And former New York Times editor and reporter, Jeanne Pinder, thinks that makes no sense at all. So much so that she started ClearHealthCosts.com, a project of journalists “committed to bringing transparency to the health-care marketplace by telling people prices for medical procedures and items.”
Stem cell clinics are booming. And hurting people.
How can patients protect themselves in a marketplace where the Food & Drug Administration (FDA), Federal Trade Commission (FTC), and state medical boards have been ineffectual?
If anyone ever says that he or she can’t find an industry-independent expert for a news story or for an FDA committee, they just haven’t looked hard enough.
For 9 years, we have hosted what is, to the best of our knowledge, a one-of-a-kind list of health care industry-independent experts.
What is DCIS, or ductal carcinoma in situ? Is it an incidental abnormality that only became recognized as screening mammography became more widespread and sophisticated?
Or, is it a pre-cancer that gives doctors a head start in treating breast cancer before it spreads?
These are questions that nearly 60-thousand women are faced with each year in this country.
Only 7 percent of orthopedic surgeons in the United States are women.
Dr. Julie Switzer is one of them.
In this podcast we touch on gender, but we mostly address two other topics. First, is Switzer’s passion for caring for the elderly who sustain fractures. Second, the emerging sports focus in how orthopedics is covered by the media, and marketed to the public.
About 6 percent of older Americans live in nursing homes. However, nearly half of us over the age of 65 will spend some time in a nursing home at some point in our life.
Wellness programs in the United States are an $8 billion industry.
Over 50 million Americans are enrolled in such programs. They are as variable in size and quality as the companies and organizations that offer them.
In this podcast you’ll hear 3 voices:
We have written dozens of stories and reviews on screening for prostate cancer. But once a man is diagnosed he is faced with a complicated — and often intimidating — menu of treatment choices.
Attempts at health care reform in the United States go back over a century. If you wanted to find just one politician and one journalist who are well versed in both the history of those reform efforts, as well as what might be needed moving forward, you would be hard pressed to do better than Dave Durenberger and Trudy Lieberman.
“Health care should not systematically mislead the public about benefits and about harms.”
With strong, authoritative statements like that, Gerd Gigerenzer grabbed my attention the first time I heard him speak. Yes, his soft-spoken eloquence and Bavarian baritone were engaging. But the hook was his ability to break down seemingly-complex issues about risk and statistics into easy-to-understand nuggets. Nuggets that your brain can chew on easier than the gristle that we are usually fed with stats about risk.
But he also talks about the ethics of what he considers to be systematic misinformation of the public about health care benefits and harms.
Tips & Resources for Analyzing Health Care Claims