Sound Medicine: A bitter pill to swallow

Sound Medicine is a radio show produced by the Indiana University School of Medicine and WFYI Public Radio. In the last few years, I’ve become their go-to guy on health policy.

Recently, the show interviewed Steven Brill. While I recommend you listen to the whole thing, I got to sneak in a question or two, and at 7:20 you can hear me ask what I first posted here a few weeks ago. Specifically, I asked why he didn’t comment on all-payer as a solution, and whether he thinks it might be a good idea. Listen, after the jump!

Steven Brill, journalist, knows healthcare. Brill’s latest article, ‘Why Medical Bills are Killing Us,’ is the cover story for the March 4, 2013 edition of Time magazine and it’s also the longest story ever to be published in Time. Brill spent months poring over and analyzing medical records, and his findings are fascinating. Many hospitals charge $1.50 for acetaminophen, a generic version of Tylenol, when consumers can buy over 100 of these generic pills for the same price at the drug store. Although $1.50 may not seem very costly, does $15,000 for routine blood work sound high? For cancer patients the cost may be even higher as, many hospitals charge mark-ups in excess of 400% for cancer treatments.


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