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934 What Are Hospitals Trying to Hide?

Tune in to our radio show on your local public radio station, or sign up for the podcast and listen at your leisure. Here’s what it’s about:

Whatever your stance on the politics of health care insurance, everyone agrees that high health care costs are a problem. One patient was shocked to learn that his emergency treatment with anti-venom for snakebite came to nearly $90,000.

One way to combat high prices is for patients to pick the most cost-effective treatments, but trying to find out what a procedure will cost can be a big challenge. An investigative team consisting of a doctor and his 14-year-old daughter set out to find out what hospitals would share about prices. Parking: yes; EKG: not so much.

Hospitals also tend to honor transparency more in the breach when it comes to medical errors or doctors with less than stellar outcomes. Dr. Marty Makary has issued a call for his colleagues to embrace much more transparency in all these critical areas. How can that be accomplished?

Guests: Jillian Bernstein is in the ninth grade at Haverford High School. Joseph Bernstein, MD, is Clinical Professor of Orthopedic Surgery at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine. Their article was published in JAMA Internal Medicine.

Steven Brill is a journalist and author of a TIME magazine special report: “Bitter Pill: How Medical Bills Are Killing Us.” 

Martin Makary, MD, MPH, is Associate Professor of Surgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Surgical Director of the Johns Hopkins Pancreas Multidisciplinary Cancer Clinic. He is Chief of Minimally-invasive Pancreaticobiliary Surgery and Director of Minimally Invasive Pancreas Surgery. His book is Unaccountable: What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care.

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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