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Hosted by: Scott LaMar



Smart Talk Friday is a fast-paced program featuring thoughtful and engaging conversations about the politics, policy and people who are shaping Pennsylvania’s future. Host Matt Paul and witf Capitol Bureau Chief Mary Wilson invite your multimedia interaction before, during and after the program.

Hosted by: Matt Paul and Mary Wilson



witf introduces 'Smart Talk Friday' radio program

Radio Smart Talk: Waste in health care spending

Written by Megan Lello, witf Reporter and Producer | Feb 19, 2013 3:22 PM

Radio Smart Talk for Wednesday, February 20:

Health care spending accounts for some 18 percent of the gross domestic product in the United States. But increases in personal income aren’t keeping pace with rising health care costs, which seemed to have skyrocketed in recent years. And a recent study from the Institute of Medicine says the U.S. wastes $750 billion on health care each year. It cites a lack of coordination among health care providers, inefficiencies in providing preventive services, and unnecessary administrative costs as being part of the problem. 

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As part of witf’s ongoing Transforming Health project, Wednesday's Radio Smart Talk will look at just how hospitals and insurance companies are spending money, and why health care costs are rising so dramatically. We’ll also explore the parts of the Affordable Care Act that aim to contain costs.

Joining the program are Dr. Kevin Mosser, executive vice president and chief operating officer at WellSpan Health and Martin Ciccocioppo, vice president of research at the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania.

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Martin Ciccocioppo of Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania and Dr. Kevin Mosser of WellSpan Health

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Comments: 6

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-02-20 11:38

    Email from Thomas:

    On a previous episode there was some discussion about a shortage of doctors. The country also has a "high" unemployment rate. It should be a simple solution to train more people as general family practice physicians to fill the void.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-02-20 11:41

    Email from Sue:

    It speaks volumes that the system focused on digitizing billing first and is now turning its attention to digitizing patient records. In fact, that says it all.


  • Radio Smart Talk img 2013-02-20 11:42

    Email from Jay:

    The current heath care system in no way rewards healthy living. I'm 44 years old, exercise everyday, maintain a healthy weight and live a basically healthy lifestyle, yet because of my age my health care cost at work is higher than younger workers who smoke, don't exercise and are obese. Where is the incentive for me to stay healthy?

  • Robert Colgan img 2013-02-20 21:30

    I thought the doctors, esp Dr Mosser did an excellent job of explaining where things are in healthcare.
    It is too bad that all discussions of healthcare somehow involve the current system with its Insurance/Pharmaceutical overlords who dictate who/how/where/when health is available----and consequently dictatorially also steer the populace toward a medicalization model of life.

    Profits demand sick people....or people who think they might have sickness. Pharmaceutical companies and medical workers don't make money from people who are well, although insurers do...and insurers also make money from NOT paying for procedures or medicines and keeping that money for themselves.

    Get rid of the profit in healthcare-----socialize it-------and costs, as well as personal responsibility for wellness will return to lower levels in very short time. MedicareForAll is what other civilized nations have, in one form or another. And it works for them quite well.

  • edstem09 img 2013-02-21 04:40

    Prohibitively costly end of life meds.

    "Men with that late-stage cancer had a median survival of about a year and a half using docetaxel. The new drugs each added two to five months to median survival when tested in clinical trials. Doctors say that men taking more than one of the drugs in succession would be expected to live more than two years.

    But the price of these drugs has already stirred concerns about the costs of care among patients, providers and insurers. For example, Provenge costs $93,000 for a course of treatment, while Zytiga costs about $5,000 a month. Another of the new drugs, Sanofi’s Jevtana, costs about $8,000 every three weeks.

    With other pricey drugs on the way, said Joel Sendek, an analyst at Lazard, “We could be talking easily $500,000 per patient or more over the course of therapy, which I don’t think the system can afford, especially since 80 percent of the patients are on Medicare.” New York Times.

  • edstem09 img 2013-02-21 04:43

    Prohibitively costly end of life meds.

    "Men with that late-stage cancer had a median survival of about a year and a half using docetaxel. The new drugs each added two to five months to median survival when tested in clinical trials. Doctors say that men taking more than one of the drugs in succession would be expected to live more than two years.

    But the price of these drugs has already stirred concerns about the costs of care among patients, providers and insurers. For example, Provenge costs $93,000 for a course of treatment, while Zytiga costs about $5,000 a month. Another of the new drugs, Sanofi’s Jevtana, costs about $8,000 every three weeks.

    With other pricey drugs on the way, said Joel Sendek, an analyst at Lazard, “We could be talking easily $500,000 per patient or more over the course of therapy, which I don’t think the system can afford, especially since 80 percent of the patients are on Medicare.” New York Times.

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