Kaiser Health News, An Arm and A Leg Podcast

Wait, is insulin cheaper now?

2 weeks 5 days ago

A listener wrote to us at the beginning of the year with a query, “I was just reading the news about the price of insulin going down to $35! Is that for everyone?”


It turns out, there is a lot of good news about the so-called “poster child” for the high cost of prescription drugs. But to say it costs $35 now is an oversimplification – and diabetes activists don’t think this fight is over.


Senior producer and self-proclaimed “insulin correspondent” Emily Pisacreta took a hard look at the recent developments. 


Plus, what does the explosion of drugs like Ozempic and Wegovy have to do with the price of insulin? We break it down. 


Here’s a transcript of this episode. 


Send your stories and questions. Or call 724 ARM-N-LEG.


And of course we’d love for you to support this show.


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Self defense 101: Keeping your cool while you fight

1 month 1 week ago

Dealing with the American health care system as a patient means lots of tough moments – unexpected bills, meds not covered, insurance and hospitals making you go back and forth without a clear answer, endless hold times and phone trees… the list goes on. 


So listeners ask us all the time: How do I stay strong and fight for my rights without totally losing my s---? 


We’re bringing back one of our most useful episodes ever: How to keep your cool in a tough moment, according to a self defense expert. 


In late 2020, Dan hit up self defense expert Lauren Taylor to get strategies for standing up for yourself, and hear how she’s applied her approach in her own fight for health care coverage. 


Since then, she’s published a book! It’s called Get Empowered: A Practical Guide to Thrive, Heal, and Embrace Your Confidence in a Sexist World


Extra tip: At the moment, the site bookshop.org, which supports independent bookstores, has the best price.

Here’s a transcript of this episode


Send your stories and questions. Or call 724 ARM-N-LEG.


And of course we’d love for you to support this show.


Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

One last tip before 2024

1 month 4 weeks ago

Real quick: Now's the best time to support this show! Thanks to a few super-star Arm and a Leg listener/donors, your donation is matched two for one right now. Here's the link to donate.


Ok, now: We’ve got a mini-episode for you today, a four-minute coda to the epic story we brought you in December.


It features a last tip for anyone who might want to ask a hospital about charity care — which, as we learned from these recent stories, is most of us.


And it comes with my big thanks for being part of this show’s community this year. You’re our reason for being, and our best sources.  


You’re also our biggest source of financial support, so I will ask one more time to pitch in now if you can


Thank you so much! We'll catch you in 2024.




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When hospitals sue patients (part 2)

2 months ago

Hey! The BEST time to support this show with a donation just got even better. Right now, any gift you make, up to $1,000, will be matched TWO for ONE, thanks to a few super-generous Arm and a Leg fans who’ve pooled their dough. . It’s a great deal, and it will set us up to kick maximum butt in 2024. Here’s the link, go for it!


And… are you ready for our most-ambitious story yet? We’ve been working on this investigation all year, with our partners at Scripps News and the Baltimore Banner


With those partners, we’ve dug up some surprising (and possibly uplifting) news about lawsuits in three states – Maryland, New York and Wisconsin — and what that news might mean for the rest of the country.  


This is part two of a two-part series. In part one, we examined the phenomenon of hospitals suing patients in bulk – sometimes hundred or thousands at a time – over unpaid bills. 


We learned that in many cases, those patients are struggling financially, and that the lawsuits aren’t very lucrative for hospitals anyway. So why did they happen in the first place? As one former collections industry insider told us, those decisions are “philosophically based.” 


In this episode — before getting to those surprising/hopeful findings — we try to understand that “philosophy,” perhaps best described as: business-as-usual. We speak with a former hospital billing executive and a representative from the third-party collections industry. 


This series is produced in partnership with the McGraw Center for Business Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.


… and supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.


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When hospitals sue patients (part 1)

2 months 2 weeks ago

Hey, it’s the BEST time to support this show with a donation. Thanks to NewsMatch, any gift you make, up to $1,000, will be doubled. It’s a great deal, and it will set us up to kick maximum butt in 2024. Here’s the link, go for it!


We’ve been working on this investigation all year, with our partners at Scripps News and the Baltimore Banner


For years, we’ve been hearing about hospitals suing patients over unpaid medical bills – sometimes even in bulk, by the hundreds or thousands at a time. 


Many of the patients getting sued are already facing financial hardship, or like one couple we interviewed, already in bankruptcy. 


Judgments against patients in these suits can be life changing. But according to experts, these lawsuits don’t recoup a ton of lost revenue for hospitals. So why do they happen? And what if hospitals stopped doing it completely? 


In this episode, we talk to a former sales rep for a medical-debt collections agency — who now steers hospitals away from efforts to collect money, via lawsuits or other means, from folks who just don’t have it.


He tells hospitals: This is better for your bottom line. 


Stay tuned for part two, coming in two weeks. 


… and to preview some of what’s in it — plus a whole lot more excellent reporting — check out the Baltimore Banner’s story: Maryland hospitals stopped suing patients with unpaid bills. Will they start again?


This series is produced in partnership with the McGraw Center for Business Journalism at the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at the City University of New York.


… and supported by the Fund for Investigative Journalism.


OOH: And don’t forget. It’s prime time to make a donation and support this show


Here’s a transcript of this episode.



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To get health insurance, this couple made a movie

3 months 1 week ago

Last fall, actor-writers Ellen Haun and Dru Johnston were hustling to get their health insurance sorted out for 2023. To qualify for insurance through the actor’s union, SAG-AFTRA, Ellen would have to book a little more work — doable, but not a sure bet. 


So they came up with a plan: crowdfund a bunch of money to make a short film, starring Ellen … called “Ellen Needs Insurance,” of course.


It worked! And the movie, a 13-minute comedy, is terrific. 


Ellen and Dru sat down with us to go over how they made the whole thing happen, and how this year’s Hollywood strikes changed their perspectives. 


Here’s a transcript of this episode.


ALSO: Hey, it’s the BEST time to support this show with a donation. Thanks to NewsMatch, any gift you make, up to $1,000, will be doubled. It’s a great deal, and it will set us up to kick maximum butt in 2024. Here’s the link, go for it!




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Checked
1 hour 49 minutes ago
Kaiser Health News, An Arm and A Leg Podcast
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).

Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

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