June 3, 2021

9. We Asked, You Replied: Listener Submissions Special

From the start of our show, we’ve asked listeners to share stories about navigating the American health care system. Today, David talks with those of you who have had to fight for health care in order to manage chronic illnesses, secure gender-affirming surgeries, and help children receive developmental therapies for Down Syndrome.

May 27, 2021

8. Medical Jargon is Killing Us

Medical jargon is a thing of the past and health literacy is now en vogue – and can actually save patients’ lives according to our guest, Dr. Lisa Fitzpatrick. We’re also joined by Dr. Venice Haynes and Natalie Davis who talk to us about the anxiety, confusion, and fears people across the country have about asking those life-saving health care questions and booking a doctor’s appointment in the first place.

May 20, 2021

7. Why Kidney Failure Pays

America’s relationship with Dialysis is out of control. Roughly 1% of the entire federal budget is spent treating people with kidney failure. That’s billions of dollars devoted to treating one preventable illness. How did we end up with so many people on dialysis? And who’s getting rich from it? This week, we connect the dots from Richard Nixon to Dr. Evil and talk with disruptors who have some new ideas for how to fix the system. Bobby Sepucha, Will Stokes and nephrologist Dr. Natasha Dave join us to talk about how these kidney care disruptors are prioritizing patients and their overall health.

May 13, 2021

6. What’s Missing in Maternal Health?

The complications started around week 18 of Marquisse Watson’s pregnancy. Six weeks later, her baby girl Alana was born premature. Marquisse and her husband Antwon had bought the baby clothes, gotten the nursery ready… but Alana passed away 36 hours after she was born. This week, we talk to Marquisse about working through her grief seven years later. We’re joined by Venice Haynes and Meredith Shockley-Smith to talk broadly about social determinants and why black babies are twice as likely to die than white babies.

May 6, 2021

5. Burnout: The Vicious Cycle

The healthcare system is basically a lucrative game of tug-of-war among players – and the winner reaps a trillion dollar pot of gold. But is it a fair game? David explores the monstrous “fee-for service system” with Dr. Vivian Lee. Then, Dr. Jill Gross joins David to explore how the results can lead to a total system breakdown.

April 29, 2021

4. The Million Dollar Baby

Lauren Bard’s little girl, Sadie, had a 50/50 chance of survival when she was born 14 weeks premature. Luckily, Lauren is a nurse at Dignity Health, a Catholic hospital, so she had good insurance and knew how to protect herself…or so she thought. Instead, she ended up with a $1.7 million dollar bill. Dr. Ashish Jha also joins David this week to help us figure out how the heck this happened.

April 22, 2021

3. Upcoded: You’re Never Done Paying

This week, we’re talking about upcoding, and how it can lead to $11,000 COVID tests, $629 bandaids, and mothers waiting within sprinting distance to the hospital. America has some of the best doctors and hospitals in the world, but many patients are too afraid to walk through the doors for fear of going into unnecessary debt.

April 15, 2021

Sickness = Profit

Description Unpredictable chaos adds up to something over time. That’s David Smith’s story, and it’s also the origin story behind our broken health care system. This week, we explore why sickness pays and health doesn’t, and how we got here...

April 15, 2021

The Doomsday Clock

Description David Smith watched as chronic pain and addiction transformed his loving father into a vengeful man who was unrecognizable. David has spent a lifetime trying to outrun his father’s fate - but now he’s looking for answers. How can...

April 9, 2021

Introducing The Cost of Care

Trying to navigate the American healthcare system as a patient is a high-stakes game. One wrong move can leave you ruined. Starting April 15th, host David Smith speaks with people crushed by one of the most expensive and worst performing...