Cathryn Jakobson Ramin, author of the book “Crooked,” says chronic low back pain is not a medical condition. Nonetheless, that complaint sends millions of Americans down a path of expensive imaging tests, ongoing therapies and invasive surgery — all with limited effectiveness for many patients. In a conversation with “An Arm and a Leg” podcast host Dan Weissmann, Ramin shares her journey of back pain and recovery.
Every year — for decades — the Buehler family and friends have organized a softball tournament in the Cincinnati, Ohio, area to raise money for someone with big medical expenses. In 2019, the group helped forgive $1 million in medical debt.
Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn., sued thousands of patients for unpaid medical bills. Journalist Wendi Thomas wrote about it. Months later, the hospital dropped 6,500 lawsuits.
Introducing a new segment on “An Arm and a Leg” podcast: “Can They Freaking Do That?!?” We take your most vexing medical bill questions and hunt down information and experts who can help.
It’s open enrollment season for health insurance. And choosing the best plan is tricky whether you have to buy insurance on your own or just figure out which plan to sign up for at work. Here’s what you need to know.
Consumers are admonished to be “smart shoppers,” but that’s difficult if health care prices are clear as mud. When Sarah Macsalka’s son needed stitches, she did her best to avoid the ER and still ended up with a $3,000 bill.
After surviving two double lung transplants, Dylan Mortimer, a Kansas City artist, turns his battle with cystic fibrosis into joyous, whimsical art. Now Mortimer buys glitter by the pound and uses it to create mixed-media collages and sculptures for hospitals, private collectors and public spaces.
Kvetching about the cost of health care is kind of what we do on the podcast “An Arm and a Leg.” This week’s episode features like-minded storytellers — from the musical troupe Heck No Techo — who have turned their frustrations into art and laughter.
On Season 3, Episode 2 of the podcast “An Arm and a Leg,” an Illinois woman harnesses a lifetime of experience — and frustration — with health care finances to help other people solve their medical bill problems.
Most infants in the United States have a hearing screening in their first few days of life. Twenty years ago, before universal newborn screening, many kids missed out on early intervention services that help children with hearing loss access sound and develop spoken language.
Health insurance in Texas didn’t cover hearing aids for kids — which can cost $6,000 and need to be replaced about every three years. So Stephanie Wittels Wachs teamed up with other moms to lobby the Texas legislature for change, and they won.
A small health center in Goshen, Ind., near the border with Michigan, puts “listening to patients’ stories” first. “The rest is housekeeping.”
Electronic health records can help reduce medical errors, but when not used well they can strain the doctor-patient relationship. Dr. Wei Wei Lee, an internist with the University of Chicago Medicine, has developed strategies to make sure tech is a tool, not a barrier.
Are physicians asking patients the right questions in order to provide good care? Laser-focused on biomedical symptoms, some doctors miss the psychosocial factors that can be a barrier to good health. In Episode 7 of the podcast, we hear about a creative study that uncovers how some medical errors happen.
An estimated 18 million American adults have sleep apnea. The go-to treatment — a CPAP machine — offers a healthy restful night’s sleep, but many people struggle to use it. As many as 50% of patients stop using the device.
Check the fine print. When you get a prescription for expensive medical equipment, you may need to follow the doctor’s orders — to the letter — to get your health insurance company to pay up.
Skipping meals. Rationing medicine to make it last. The high cost of insulin has pushed some people with diabetes to make hard choices. Hear about insulin’s backstory and the hacks that might make it affordable.
Beware at the pharmacy counter: Your insurance company could be in cahoots with a pharmacy benefit manager — and the negotiations that go on between them are trade secrets.
Some patient advocates say your doctor’s notes offer insights you might never hear from your physician, putting patient and provider on the same page.
Doctors routinely order MRIs, but the price patients pay can be unpredictable. Hear how one determined woman scanned her options to find the best deal.