Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment. Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.
Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)
Host: Scott LaMar
What to look for on Radio Smart Talk, Thursday, July 18:
The cost of and spending on healthcare continue to rise and increase beyond the average rate of inflation.
There are many theories why, but one of the questions that often go unanswered is why does healthcare cost what it does, especially at hospitals?
Healthcare is undergoing significant changes today. witf's Transforming Health initiative has documented many of those changes. One major difference from the past is consumers are being encouraged to shop for the best prices. Traditionally, that hasn't been easy. More information is becoming available, but even then would-be patients may be confused by the wide disparity in prices.
For example, the average bill for treatment of chest pain that is not caused by heart disease is $12,585 at the Penn State Hershey Medical Center. At the Geisinger Medical Center in Danville, the bill for the same procedure is $25,557. Insurance pays a lot less than those figures though -- $4,901 at Hershey and $5,102 at Geisinger. That's just one example but there are many more.
On Thursday's Radio Smart Talk, we'll examine why hospital costs are what they are.
Appearing on the program will be Martin Ciccocioppo of the Hospital & Healthsystem Association of Pennsylvania and Joe Martin of the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.
Martin Ciccocioppo and Joe Martin
TIME magazine's Bitter Pill: Why Medical Bills Are Killing Us
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