86 episodes

A show about why health care costs so freaking much, and what we can (maybe) do about it. Hosted by award-winning reporter Dan Weissmann (Marketplace, 99 Percent Invisible, Planet Money, Reveal).
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An Arm and a Leg An Arm and a Leg

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 988 Ratings

A show about why health care costs so freaking much, and what we can (maybe) do about it. Hosted by award-winning reporter Dan Weissmann (Marketplace, 99 Percent Invisible, Planet Money, Reveal).
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    These docs are trying to kick private equity out of their ER

    These docs are trying to kick private equity out of their ER

    About a third of ER doctors now work for companies backed by private equity. A lot of those docs do not like the arrangement, which they say puts profits ahead of patients. Now, a group of ER docs are suing to kick one of those private-equity owned companies out of their hospital-- and all of California. They see it as the first step in a long, long fight. 
    The suit cites California’s ban on the “corporate practice of medicine” — which is supposed to outlaw situations where non-doctors tell doctors what to do, for profit. 
    Which raises a question: How did it get left to a group of doctors to get that law enforced? 
    We break it down, with help from:

    Dr. Lisa Moreno, immediate past president of the American Academy of Emergency Medicine which filed the lawsuit.Law professor Erin Fuse Brown, who has written about private equity’s growing role in medicine.Legendary financial reporter Gretchen Morgenson, now at NBC News, who has been reporting on private equity’s role in medicine since 2020, and whose reporting tipped us off to this lawsuit. 
    And while you're here, why not:
    Subscribe to our newsletterSend stories and questions: https://armandalegshow.com/contact/ or call 724 ARM-N-LEGAnd of course we’d love for you to support this show.
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    • 21 min
    Credit Where It’s Due

    Credit Where It’s Due

    Credit reporting bureaus announced in April that they would start taking most medical debt off of people’s credit reports. At first, we weren’t sure that would be such a huge deal. After all, the medical debt would still exist, people would still get harassed by debt collectors, or even sued over it.
    But it turns out, there’s a bunch of reasons why these changes could be life-changing, and we want to give credit (the good kind) where it’s due. 
    The changes include:
    Paid-off medical debt disappears from credit reports on July 1, 2022Debts under $500 (even if you haven’t paid them) come off reports in March 2023Medical bills under $500 that you received after March 1, 2022 should will never be counted on your credit reportNo medical bills – of any size– will appear on your credit report until they’re at least a year old, starting July 1, 2022
    Plus, some an end to some games debt collectors can play with your credit score. 
    Here’s a transcript of this episode.
    Subscribe to our newsletter, First Aid Kit.
    Send your stories and questions: https://armandalegshow.com/contact/ or call 724 ARM-N-LEG
    And of course we’d love for you to support this show.

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    • 17 min
    “The Golden Age of Older Rectums” (for investors)

    “The Golden Age of Older Rectums” (for investors)

    A new golden age is dawning, and it starts where the sun don’t shine.
    A listener got a pricey quote for her colonoscopy, but the medical practice behind it seems like “the only game in town.” We scope it out and learn the surprising reason why: Investors have decided your butt is a goldmine. 
    Private equity investors have made their way into many areas of our lives. Now, they’re at the gastroenterologist’s —and lots of other medical specialists, too. We learned why these doctors are selling their practices to private equity, and what it could mean for your health care and your bills. 
    Correction notice: The original version of this story mis-identified the organization where Claire McAndrew worked when we spoke to her in 2019. Whoops. We've updated the audio file, so it's correct now.
    Here's a transcript for this episode.
    As always, we'd love you to:

    Subscribe to our newsletter, First Aid KitShare your stories and questions, either on our site or call 724 ARM-N-LEGPitch in to support this show financially.
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    • 19 min
    Sick Note, pt. 2: Dang

    Sick Note, pt. 2: Dang

    Dan’s COVID has hung on there for a while, kept him SUPER tired. Yoinks. Back in a couple weeks!
    Meanwhile, as always, we'd love for you to:

    Get in touch to share a story or your thoughts. Subscribe to First Aid Kit, our newsletter about how to survive the health-care systemSupport us: Your donations are this show's biggest source of income.

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    • 59 sec
    Sick Note: Dan has COVID. (He's fine, but ...)

    Sick Note: Dan has COVID. (He's fine, but ...)

    Hey there — I got COVID a little before we were scheduled to tape this week's episode. Whoops!
    I'm fine now, but kinda tired. Just to be on the safe side — some people stay tired for a while — let's give me two weeks before we come back with a full episode.
    Meanwhile, I'll share this: I think one reason I got better quick was, I was able to get anti-viral meds. (Paxlovid, in my case.)
    And I mention this because: There's a new variant going around, BA.2, which looks like it's going to bring on a new wave; we don't know how big it'll be yet, but the New York Times had some good tips recently for how to be prepared.
    One was: Have a plan for getting antiviral treatment, in case you do get sick. Some docs don't like to prescribe them, and some folks shouldn't take them because of things like drug interactions. It's worth knowing your best options ahead of time.
    I'm here to co-sign that advice. The rest was good too. Here's the link: https://www.nytimes.com/2022/03/30/well/live/ba2-omicron-covid.html
    Finally: Even this two-minute sick note has a highly-entertaining moment, thanks to a listener who wrote a surprising response to a recent First Aid Kit newsletter... then recorded that note as a voice memo.
    So, I'll catch you in a couple weeks. Till then: Take care of yourself, for real.
    And as always:
    Our First Aid Kit newsletter collects the practical lessons I've learned about how to fight the awful cost of health care. You might want to subscribe.We love it when you send your stories and questions: https://armandalegshow.com/contact/ or call 724 ARM-N-LEGAnd of course we’d love for you to support this show.


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    • 2 min
    Fighting for the Right to Help

    Fighting for the Right to Help

    It’s illegal to advise someone who’s being sued for medical debt, unless you're a lawyer. Yep, really. Even in its most basic form (like helping people fill out a checklist) it’s considered the “unlicensed practice of law.” And it’s a crime. As in, you could go to jail.
    So some New Yorkers are suing to get that changed. 
    The non-profit Upsolve wants to help people represent themselves in court when they’re being sued over debt. Their plan is to train people like pastors, social workers, and librarians and others to help people others know their rights. And iIn the Bronx, Reverend John Udo-Okon is one of those volunteers, ready to help. 
    We meet the CEO of Upsolve and Reverend John to talk about their work – and why they’re suing the state of New York. 
    Here’s a transcript of the episode. 
    Subscribe to our newsletter, First Aid Kit. 
    Send your stories and questions: https://armandalegshow.com/contact/ or call 724 ARM-N-LEG
    And of course we’d love for you to support this show.

    See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.

    • 19 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
988 Ratings

988 Ratings

Ginagina Smith ,

Feel better!

Thanks for letting us know.

Neato Feeto ,

Good podcast, bad ads

Love the podcast. 3 stars because the ads for the podcast against the rules are so repetitive and long. I have to go to my phone every 15 mins to skip the ad.

Bee Naush. ,

Required reading

So informative and essential for people who want to understand our healthcare system better and empower themselves with information to advocate for themselves. Thank you for doing this!

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