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The Paradocs Podcast with Eric Larson

The Paradocs is a fun and lively discussion with a couple of docs on the practice of medicine. Occasionally serious, usually lighthearted, and accidentally informative. A show for physicians to learn more about what is going on and a great place for them to direct their friends and family to better understand the challenges they face.

Nov 21, 2018

We can all agree - outside of a few overpaid pharma CEOs - that the American Health Care system is too expensive. In fact, one could argue that the system of delivering health care in America is designed to cost the most possible without any parts that can check its growth. If you were to try and design a more costly and inefficient system I dare say you would be unsuccessful.
As I discuss with the author of Overcharged: Why Americans Pay So Much for Health Care, Professor David Hyman describes a system of incentives that seem aligned solely to increase the cost of care to patients and reimbursement of those delivering the care. From pharmaceutical companies, hospitals, physicians, and insurance companies there are no friends to be found for the consumers. And before anyone looks to Washington, D.C. or state capitols for relief, think again because those monopoly powers originate in those ivory hallways paid for with health care special interest money.
The problems identified in the book are:
  • Political Control of Health Care Spending
  • 3rd Party Payors
  • Prices too high
  • Quality is perceived by everyone delivering care as above average
  • Opaque prices
There are four lessons learned and extrapolated on in the book:
1) The system is full of good people but good people can't fix a bad system
2) If the bottom leads, the top will follow (only consumers can drive innovation)
3) To beat the system you have to leave the system
4) Better health care thru self-pay

We discussed these concepts in depth throughout the show and also delved into the solutions to save our system from consuming our entire GDP. Already, health care consumes so much money that budgetary problems are springing up from DC down to city hall. Fortunately, Overcharged describes the diagnoses and the cures.

  David Hyman is the co-author of Overcharged and a law professor at Georgetown University.
show notes

Overcharged - The Official Website:  The official website for David Hyman's book. Free chapters to read and video links with the authors.

Episode 005 My discussion with Dr. Marion Mass regarding the huge prices of pharmaceuticals and why there are shortages.

Memorial for Andy Larson: This is the donation link to honor Andy's death with the Grand Rapids Choir of Men and Boys where he blossomed and served as a head chorister.

YouTube for Paradocs: Here you can watch the video of my late son singing his solo on the Paradocs YouTube page.

Patreon - Become a show supporter today and visit my Patreon page for extra bonus material. Every dollar raised goes towards the production and promotion of the show.

Listen to The Paradocs on RadioPublic