Kaiser Health News, An Arm and A Leg Podcast

Whoa. Welcome to SEASON-19

3 days 6 hours ago

We were not expecting to bring the next season out for another couple months, but... STUFF has been happening. Is happening. We're here with you. Bring us your stories and your QUESTIONS: We'll ask the smartest people we know to tell us all what they know. go to https://www.armandalegshow.com/contact OR call our **hotline**! Yep: (724) 276-6534 -- which spells 724 ARM N LEG.

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Reporter's Notebook: What we've learned so far, and what's ahead.

1 month 2 weeks ago

This bonus episode turns the tables: Ace reporter Sally Herships interviews Arm and a Leg host Dan Weissmann, about what he's learned so far, and what's ahead for the show. \They dig into the stories listeners are sharing -- the lessons people say they’re learning, and the lessons they’re sharing.


And Dan previews the celebrations in store as the show hits a landmark: 500 Patreon supporters! If you haven't signed up already, there's still time to join us -- sign up by March 1 -- and earn some special rewards. https://www.patreon.com/armandalegshow

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Watch Your Back: Outwitting the Back-Pain Industry

3 months ago

Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, an investigative reporter with a bad back, spent years researching the $100-billion back-pain industry. She found that the most commonly-prescribed treatments, including surgery, frequently do not work — and often leave people a lot worse off. She also learned what does work. Whenever someone I know says their back is killing them, I send them a link to Ramin's 2017 book, Crooked: Outwitting the Back Pain Industry. In this episode, we hit the highlights of Ramin's findings.

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This hospital sued thousands of patients — until a reporter called them out.

3 months 2 weeks ago

They say the problem with relying on journalists to embarrass providers into caving on crazy bills is, there aren’t enough journalists to go around. Fair. But sometimes journalists can scale up.


In Memphis, reporter Wendi Thomas found that the city’s biggest hospital routinely sued its patients over unpaid bills, despite making tidy profits. 


The hospital even sued its own badly-paid employees — a fact Thomas said was immediately visible just by visiting the court house. “You saw them, there, in their scrubs,” she said. “I could see their [hospital] badge clipped to the front of their uniforms.”


The injustices were stark. “The defendants are just outmatched,” Thomas said. “They don't have the resources of a billion dollar hospital with its own collection agency and attorneys.”


Thomas did such a good job making a stink about it that after a couple of months, the hospital dropped more than 6,500 lawsuits, and erased the debts.


“Shame is a powerful motivator,” said Thomas. “It just is. And the hospital didn't look good, so they had to address it.”

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Checked
1 hour 54 minutes ago
Kaiser Health News, An Arm and A Leg Podcast

A show about the cost of health care that’s more entertaining, empowering, and occasionally useful than enraging, and terrifying and depressing. Reporter Dan Weissmann digs in to show how we got into this crazy mess and how we just might live through it.

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